Experiencing Common Ground
by Paula Hartsfield
Grace Church’s new mission initiative, Common Ground, truly is faith communities coming together to take care of our own. I was privileged to be the first Grace Church parishioner scheduled to volunteer at Common Ground. I had the wonderful opportunity to see Common Ground be a safety net for those experiencing misfortunes. I saw Common Ground providing a safety net for the working poor and the disadvantaged.
Grace Church has assumed the responsibility of hosting the main floor of the Common Ground building on Tuesdays 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. We have very pleasant surroundings in which to host. I encourage parishioners to drop by on Tuesday mornings to see the results of the excellent renovation work at the corner of Clark Avenue and Atchison Street. You will find an airy, tastefully appointed large open space filled with natural sunlight – very attractive, comfortable surroundings in which to volunteer complete with off-street parking. I look forward to my next time slot of volunteering!
Social worker Kristen Hilty is also working during the hours Grace parishioners are volunteering. It is a joy to work with Kristen. Kristen staffed the Benevolence Office a month before Grace members started volunteering at Common Ground. Kristen is appreciative of our assistance.
During the month of March the Benevolence Office provided assistance to 40 individuals or families. Kristen has good procedures in place to try to prevent clients from “taking advantage of the system.” Travel vouchers were a need while I was volunteering. They are for $20 of gas – a very conservative amount considering the current price for a gallon of gas. And, clients are asked not to return for three months with that same request.
If you would like to become involved in the Common Ground project, contact Gary Harbison who has done an excellent job orienting the volunteers.