Last Thursday’s cold, wet weather did not prevent members of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from giving a helping hand to North Dallas Shared Ministries.
Upon arrival at the facility, we were met by staff — all volunteers — who greeted and ushered us around the building. North Dallas Shared Ministries provides services to people in Dallas who are faced with hardships and poverty for a variety of reasons.
Several church members gathered in the “store” area of the building where they sorted, folded and categorized clothes, shoes and coats while others organized files for the administration office.
Grown from a need and a vision, North Dallas Shared Ministries is a cooperative effort of companies, congregations and individuals that combine resources to efficiently deliver effective and appropriate assistance to Dallas’ poorest individuals and families.
To name a few of the emergency services available at the ministry, the organization houses a medical clinic, dental clinic, clothing store and a food pantry equipped with household cleaners and toiletries.
Why emergency services?
North Dallas Shared Ministries is not an enabler, offered Patti Jent, an interviewer for the organization. Jent meets with potential clients to determine their eligibility to receive services offered by the ministry.
“Our goal is to help those in need help themselves,” Jent said.
During a tour of the facility, Executive Director Judy Rorrie pointed out that everyone has needs.
“Even the volunteers have needs,” Rorrie said. “Some volunteers are retired and looking for ways to spend their time, others are looking for new friendships. “
“North Dallas shared Ministries provides opportunities for the volunteer as well as for those in need of the services offered,” Rorrie said.
“There are so many different ways to volunteer,” Rorrie added. “A volunteer may think, ‘I’m very good at that, I’ve done it all my life,’ or on the other hand, ‘I’ve done that all my life, I would like to try something new.’”
Central Christian Church, located at 4711 Westside Dr., also recognizes the importance of volunteering—for both the volunteer and the recipient.
The church strives to be the loving hands of Christ reaching out into the community and offering many opportunities for volunteering.
It may be the oldest church in Dallas, (it celebrated its 150 anniversary last year) but it is young in spirit. There is a community garden and a community dog park on the grounds of the church. The building is home to a day program for adults with disabilities. Classes in gymnastics and karate are currently being held at Central. The spectacular musical ministry regularly showcases young musicians.
Come visit. Worship is at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings with sermons broadcast on WRR (101.1 FM) at 9 a.m. Visit the website and Facebook page at www.cccdt.org.