Once estimated to be one of the richest colonies in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is now listed as one of the world’s poorest countries due to the January 2010 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince. Document Mountain’s Save Paper Save People was able to help send a team to Haiti and by partnering with Nehemiah Vision Ministry (NVM), the team was tasked to help bring light into a dark place. The oppression was real! The team had to daily pass 3 voodoo temples to simply get to the work site. Through persistence and prayer the foundation of a new community center was started. This community center will provide great access to much needed medical services. See the whole story here.
Document Mountain by Cornerstone has had the privilege of volunteering our time at Neighborhood Fellowship Church’s VBS for 14 years. We had approximately 115 kids attend and 45 volunteers. We served hot breakfast to over 100 kids each day and volunteers provided between 125 – 150 sack lunches each day.
This year, 5 of our teen volunteers that had attended VBS as students for many years wanted to give back by serving. One of them was a 2 year old at our very first VBS and has been there every year since. We were also able to provide a little extra help for a small group of children. Read their story below:
How did you sleep last night? Did you have a soft pillow, comfy mattress, or a warm blanket? Every night we lay down and that feeling of ahhhhhh comes over us. The weight of the day washes away. Our bodies relax and sleep begins to overtake us. We feel safe and at peace.
Now imagine that you have never slept on a bed. You have no pillow and now blankets. The only thing you have is a small segment of a hard floor that you have to share with the twelve other people that live in the half of a duplex that you’re trying to exist in. You can never really find relaxation.
We met 5 young children ranging from 4 to 12 that lived in these conditions. They came to VBS because they heard there was a free meal. That morning their grandmother, the head of the household, told them that she could not provide any more meals for them. After getting them fed we learned of their sleeping conditions. The next day we were able to provide each child with a sleeping mattress and a sleeping bag.
What would you do if a monster storm ripped through your home?
When I asked this of
Analisa, a resident of Rockport, TX, she simply cried.
On August 25th, Category 4 Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport TX. The estimated 130 miles an hour sustained winds created a 13-foot-high storm surge that swept away everything in the way of its’ path. To compound the initial impact, this monster storm dropped more inches of rain in a week’s time than this area would normally receive in a year.
During the onslaught of the storm, Analisa lost everything. As the days went on, finding food and clean water was becoming a problem. A group of volunteers from Indianapolis, IN traveled down to the eastern cost to serve those in need. A team of 8 people drove more than 20 hours to Rockport, TX to assist those impacted by the storm.
The team partnered with Mercy Chefs, which is a Christian relief agency that principally focuses on providing meals to individuals impacted by natural disasters and national emergencies. While in Rockport, Mercy Chef severed over 100,000 free meals. The Indianapolis team was able to assist with delivering meals to victims stuck in their homes.
This is where the team met Analisa. She had made it through the storm and was trying to access the aftermath. In her words, “my roof and walls evaporated or were blown 2 blocks over. The only thing that was untouched was my cross on the wall and my bible next to my bed.”
Document Mountain by Cornerstone was blessed to be able to assist with the team from Indianapolis, IN financially and by sending team members. In addition to delivering more than 300 meals over a 3-day period, they also provide more than 2,000 pounds of beef and pork to be barbequed, 30 generators for those without power, 800 pairs of work gloves, 1,200 homemade cookies as well as hundreds of cold drinks.
Hurricane Harvey was a monstrous storm that left thousands of people homeless. Without the donated time and effort of these groups, hope may have been lost.
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…”
The inner-city in the summer can be a lonely place for kids. School is closed. Mom and Dad are working to provide. More often than not they have no role models and no food to eat. In a small way, Cornerstone is trying to make a difference.
For the past 13 years Cornerstone, through its save paper save people initiative, has partnered with Neighborhood Fellowship Church in the inner-city of Indianapolis to live out the commission found in Matthew: 25, giving food drink and love to the least of these. For an entire week every summer, all of Cornerstone is focused on being part of the lives of the youth in the neighborhood. This focus attempts to impact the whole child including mind body and spirit and is broken down on a daily basis consisting of craft, music, message, and recreation.
The effects of this involvement are not only external but also internal. This year we impacted over 120 kids on a daily basis by providing breakfast and lunch (more than 1200 meals) and becoming role models through relationships. We have been blessed to see children that used to take every opportunity to run from the group into oncoming traffic, become volunteers themselves. Additionally, the church building itself has undergone a transformation from plaster falling off the walls and holes in the ceiling to four fully restored floors of rooms dedicated to ministry.
Christ the King said “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in…” When asked when these things happened Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you that whoever you did these things for one of the least of these…you did it for me.” We at Cornerstone are appreciative of all of our customers and partners continued involvement and support enabling us to impact the lives of those kids.
by Beth Meyer
Are you one of those people like myself who gets excited about leftovers?? When I go out to a restaurant, one of my first thoughts is to leave enough for a fancy lunch the next day. So, imagine how excited an organization whose principal resource is prepared and perishable food would be to receive over 1.5 MILLION pounds of “leftovers” a year!
Sadly, Americans are incredibly wasteful when it comes to food, wasting about a pound a day or 27% of our available food supply. This is especially troubling since we have a real hunger problem in our city. Eleven percent of households in Indiana are hungry or at risk of being hungry. This is where Second Helpings steps in. “We’re not just teaching people to cook – we’re providing an avenue for people to transform their own lives. We don’t just collect food – we rescue food because we can’t stand to see it go to waste when others have none.
Second Helpings is not a soup kitchen. It’s a community kitchen started by three chefs who, in 1998, identified four key problems in the food service industry:
- Job Training; and
- A source of skilled labor for the local food service industry.
Their solution? “Turn unused food into meals and jobs.”
Just look at what 3 people have accomplished in 16 years: “In our first full month of operation, 37 volunteers helped rescue 7,000 pounds of food and prepare 3,074 meals. Second Helpings currently turns over 100,000 pounds of rescued food into 50,000 meals every month.”
Just how do they rescue all that food? Six days a week, truck and vans rescue food from local donors (the list of donors is long), with several organizations donating 50,000 pounds of food a year! By rescuing prepared and perishable food, Second Helpings volunteers prepare it into nutritious meals and distribute those meals to 75 social services organizations that feed hungry people.
In addition to rescuing food, Second Helpings has a culinary job training program. Graduates of the program learn practical skills for meaningful jobs in food service, and they also receive training to help them be more successful, including resume writing, job interviewing and stress management. Nearly 500 adults have graduated from the culinary job training program and many are
working as chefs, culinary instructors and business owners in Central Indiana.
Check out a couple success stories of 2 graduates of Second Helpings Culinary Job Training program, and some great pics on their Facebook page:
Providing food for hungry people. Using resources that seems like trash to others, and would be otherwise wasted. Educating people about cooking. Preparing people for success in a new career. Transforming lives through the power of food! That’s the mission of Second Helpings.