Help Center dedicates walk-in freezer


UNION CITY, Ind. — October 21 marked the day for the dedication of the new walk-in freezer at the Community Help Center in Union City, Ind..

After working so long to purchase this walk in freezer, the Help Center has spent almost three years trying to get it up and running, as well as the expense.

The late John Shockney was going to be the point man, but tragically got very sick and passed away. This left a big hole with regard to expertise, design, and craftsmanship which took quite awhile to replace. Good technicians are booked way in advance so they really appreciate those who stepped up to finish the job, including John Burnett, Larry Partin, Eric Bromagen, and Denver Boyd.

The mayors of both Ohio, Chad Spence, and Indiana, Duane Pouder, gave speeches along with Director Theresa Hampshire, Pastor Bryan, Becky Smith, Trustee, Inez Clevinger who was one of the first to begin the Help Center, and various others. Mrs. John Shockney was awarded a plaque for her husband’s work.

The Community Help Center continues to help many in the community who need it. St. Mary’s Catholic Church, part of the Blessed Family Pastorate, has a number of volunteers who help weekly and some daily to provide food, clothing, household items, and help with fuel or electric bills. Four members currently serve on the board as well. These members include Margaret Wright, Barb Hart, Barb Long, Ryan Burnett, Rebecca Burnett, and Elaine Brooks.

Members of St. Marys in Union City also contribute food and other staples.

The Help Center is constantly adding new ways to help. A “blessing box” was installed outside of the Center. It is always stocked with food for anyone to take.

Those who receive monetary help are encouraged, if able, to volunteer their time and skills. Recently, a fun flamingo game helped raise money for a walk-in freezer.

The Community Help Center began in 1986 and was ultimately sponsored by five churches in the area including St. Mary’s Catholic. They began working out of the Lutheran Church pantry and expanded to a rented building and were finally given a grant in 2008 to build a store which is where it is today. It serves both Ohio and Indiana residents that need it. The building is a block from the State Line. The vision is to reach out into the community and meet the needs as they arise. Their mission is to provide community assistance with services and needs.

Fire victims can pick out anything needed, pregnant mothers are given supplies for the babies, 150 Christmas food baskets, approximately $100 in value, were given in 2020 to residents who needed it, and money for gas or electric or vouchers for milk and eggs or help with rent is given. Also, coats, hats and gloves and school supplies are given to school children.

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