Velma Green during Call for Coats.

Velma Green during Call for Coats.

by Lisa Moody Breslin

It has been a year of celebration for The Shepherd’s Staff, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people who experience a short time crisis or who need mentorship toward self-sufficiency.

Shepherd’s Staff is celebrating its 25th anniversary and community partnerships that have enabled more than 5,842 people to be served. Since Shepherd’s Staff opened its doors, many services, beyond financial assistance, have been developed to respond to unmet needs.

Services At-A-Glance

  • The year-round Blessings Closet (non-food items)
  • The Shepherd’s Table (a cooperative weekly soup kitchen)
  • Spiritual Easter Baskets
  • Call for Coats (cold weather outerwear)
  • The Annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner
  • Fill-A-Bag (for emergency meals)
  • Take-a-Book Project (to encourage literacy)
  • Food and Fellowship (cookouts, fresh produce, meat vouchers)
  • Christmas Outdoor Celebration (honors the birth of Christ)
  • Rx Fund (for the un- and underinsured).
  • Back-to-School program (serves over a thousand needy students annually)
  • On-site services include a laundry and bath facility, clothing shed (career, baby, adult), telephone, newspaper use, in-house mail-drop, hospitality, grocery coupons, and an outdoor picnic/meditation area.

Shepherd’s Staff statistics also herald why this nonprofit has cause for celebration.

  • 2,814 – Total households for 2016
  • 7,172 – Total individuals for 2016
  • 10,000 +  – Volunteer hours logged in annually.
  • 4 – Part-time equivalent employees
  • 1,385 (in 2016) – Number of backpacks that went to needy children (This included partnering with seven locations around the county this year)
  • 1,213  (in 2015) – Backpacks distributed
  • $39,652.82 – Total outreach money spent (2016 to date)
  • $37,235.09 – Total outreach money spent 2015
  • $67,000 – Total 2016 Funds Budgeted for Outreach and Programs
  • $250,00 – Annual budget
  • 0  –  Federal, State, County Funding

Linked to these statistics are people who received assistance at critical times in their lives. One anonymous recipient speaks for many when she shares.  

“After coming into the office in pajamas and living in a car with four kids, I was in shock how fast things turned around. Ms. Velma and the other staff helped me to get clothes and the support I needed to push forward. My children and I were able to stay in a hotel and after only a week I am now reaching a point that employment, divorce, and stability are all a reality. I am incredibly grateful to Shepherd’s Staff for all of their help, encouragement, love and support. My children are smiling again and I have the strength and resources to move forward.”

Happy Anniversary Shepherd’s Staff!