For the past 30 years, Operation Help, established by the Ministerial Alliance, has offered financial assistance to Livingston County residents in need. Light bills, heating bills, rent, gasoline to attend doctor appointments and other miscellaneous items are some of the types of assistance offered. All the monies received are donated by individuals, groups, foundations, businesses, churches, etc. Operation Help does not receive any Federal or State money.
Operation Help is staffed entirely by volunteers and has a board consisting of three ministers and three laypersons. Screeners are volunteers from various churches as well as interested citizens. The First Christian Church provides office space for the interviews and their secretary sets up appointments and keeps updated records of people who receive aid. They are allowed assistance only one time in a twelve month period. Operation Help works closely with the Salvation Army and the Green Hills Action Agency to be able to meet the need of the individual.
However, due to reduction of federal funds, these agencies have less money.
“This puts a greater burden on Operation Help for the rest of the year,” said John Cook, Operation Help treasurer. “Our fund is desperately low this year due to economic conditions.”
So far this year, Operation Help has received 516 calls and issued checks for a total of $99,093.40. That is $18,244 more than last year at this time. The organization, through the Life Center Pantry, has helped 4045 families which represent 9659 individuals.
The First Christian Church is hosting a Spaghetti Supper from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. The supper will also include salad, garlic bread and a dessert. There will be a free-will donation with proceeds going to Operation Help. The church also plans to host a Chili and Soup Supper in January with proceeds also going to the Operation Help Fund.