Meeting Needs in Uncertain Times – Part 2
In last week’s blog, we learned how the Tender Hearts Caring Hands Food Pantry, Most Excellent Way, and the Ministry Village Bargain Center have made adjustments in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This week, we’ll take a look at the other 2 programs of Ministry Village at Olive – the Charis House and the Ministry Village Early Learning Center.
Faith-Focused Addiction Recovery – Charis House
Like the other programs of Ministry Village, the Charis House, our Christian-based residential substance abuse recovery program for females, has also made adjustments because of the pandemic. Heavily dependent on volunteers for teaching and support, the Charis House has taken precautions to minimize physical contact with those outside of the program while continuing to keep the important emotional and spiritual connections the women have formed. “Facilitators who teach many of the classes have been unable to attend for the month of April to comply with the Governor’s stay at home order,” said Debbe Jefcoat, Director of Ladies Recovery Ministries. “It is important that the ladies stay on a structured schedule, so we are having 3 classes using Zoom.” (Zoom is a web-based teleconference tool so many businesses and schoolteachers have quickly learned to use during this unusual time.) The Charis House staff and leadership team, including Charis House therapist Karen Cox and House Manager Ms. Darlene, are also teaching the ladies each week.
The Charis House ladies usually attend Most Excellent Way meetings each week at Olive Baptist Church. With those meetings on temporary hiatus because of social distancing requirements, the Charis House has begun their own in-house MEW meetings, with the Phase II ladies facilitating the classes. Sunday morning connection groups and worship services have been disrupted for every church member, but the ladies are able to meet with their connection group through Zoom, and then join the 11AM Olive Baptist Church livestream worship service.
Finding ways to contribute to the community and serve continues to be important to the women. Several have been sewing face masks to provide for staff members who need them, and they have also donated masks to members of the community. The Phase II ladies who are unable to continue their usual work and school obligations, have been working with Ministry Village to help with the food pantry distributions.
If you are looking for ways to support the Charis House right now, the House Managers say that keeping their supplies stocked is becoming a challenge. Limiting their exposure to public shopping, and quantity limits placed on purchases, has caused some difficulties. Items that everyone is struggling to find (like toilet paper, Clorox wipes, etc.) are difficult to keep in stock under normal circumstances for 3 houses of 10 ladies. They are specifically seeking donations of Ziploc bags (quart and gallon), fresh fruit (bananas, oranges, apples), canned soups (ramen noodles, chicken noodle), coffee, coffee creamer, dish detergent, laundry detergent, hand soap, paper products (plates, napkins, etc.), plastic cups, plastic utensils, bottled water, and trash bags (large and small).
🧡 If you would like to donate items to the Charis House, you can dropoff at the Ministry Village office (1716 E. Olive Road), Monday through Friday between 9AM to 2PM. Please mention that these items are intended for the Charis House. You can also call Debbe Jefcoat at (850) 475-1116 or contact her by email at DJefcoat@ministryvillage.org for more information.
🧡 The Charis House has an Amazon Wish List for items the ladies could use in one of the 3 homes utilized by the program. Items purchased from the Charis House Amazon Wish List can be shipped directly to Ministry Village. Click here to shop.
🧡 The Charis House is a non-profit Christian-based residential substance abuse recovery program for females. The program is designed in 3 phases, each offering stages of recovery that provide the necessary tools for a practical transition into a new lifestyle free of addiction. The faith-based recovery program addresses the client’s personal relationship with God as the foundation for healing and wholeness. It requires a willingness to change and adhere to a controlled, strict and disciplined environment, allowing life-changing experiences to occur. There is no fee to apply.
Christ-Centered, High-Quality Care & Education – Ministry Village Early Learning Center
The importance of providing the youngest community members with the love, support and knowledge they need to be successful prompted the formation of the Ministry Village Early Learning Center, LLC which opened its facility to students in November 2018.
The Ministry Village ELC has remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As childcare providers are deemed essential workers, the ELC has instituted strict health and hygiene guidelines, while striving to provide the children and families they serve with security and comfort during an otherwise uncertain time. “We are so thankful to be able to serve so many families of first responders, healthcare workers, and others who are deemed essential,” said Kristi Zagar, Director of the Ministry Village Early Learning Center. “We know that it would cause a serious hardship to many of our families if we closed. We are following all of the latest CDC guidelines and working closely with the Early Learning Coalition to ensure that we take precautions to keep our children, our staff, and all of our families safe and healthy.”
Body temperature is taken for every staff member and child before they enter the building each day, and those with a fever or signs of illness are not admitted. Parents are no longer permitted beyond the front door for dropoff or pickup, in order to minimize the amount of contact and follow the social distancing guidelines encouraged by the CDC. Immediately at dropoff and prior to pickup, each child is taken to a handwashing station, and all toys and surfaces are sanitized numerous times throughout the day. The number of children in each classroom is limited.
“We love our children and their families. We miss each child that is home right now with their families. They are sending us videos and artwork to stay connected, and we know they miss their friends and teachers too. Providing stability and comfort to these children and their families throughout this health crisis has been an honor, and we will continue to do it as long as we can.”
💛 Situated on the campus of Olive Baptist Church, the Ministry Village Early Learning Center (ELC) is conveniently located near the corner of Davis Highway and Olive Road. Each of the 11 classrooms within the nearly 9,500 square-foot building was designed to accommodate the specific needs of a particular age and stage of development, with in-room handwashing stations and in-room private bathroom facilities — complete with child-size toilets and sinks — to make it easy for children to learn independence.
💛 The Ministry Village Early Learning Center is licensed under the Department of Children and Families (DCF License #C01ES0341) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI #648587) and is an approved provider for Florida’s free 4-year-old Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK).
💛 For information on the Ministry Village Early Learning Center, including enrollment for the 2020/2021 school year, call (850) 378-8044, visit their website at www.MinistryVillageELC.org or follow their Facebook page.
A Mission of Service
The mission of Ministry Village at Olive is to put the words of Jesus into action throughout our community – “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV) If you are looking for a place to demonstrate kindness to others for the glory of God, give us a call. We have opportunities through the Bargain Center; our Tender Hearts Caring Hands benevolence program and food pantry; through the Most Excellent Way addiction support groups; at the Charis House; and at the Ministry Village Early Learning Center.
❤️ Visit our volunteer page to signup, or call our office at (850) 473-4466 for more information.