Let’s Give It All Away Partner Spotlight: Family Christian Development Center
By NMC - November 16, 2015
Posted in Partnerships, Stories from NMC, Let's Give It All Away
Let’s Give It All Away is this Sunday, November 22. All undesignated gifts will be given to our many local food pantry partners. This week as we anticipate Let’s Give It All Away, we will highlight three of these partners. Look for stories throughout the week!
Family Christian Development Center (FCDC) is a staple in the Nappanee community. When it began in 1996, Joan Andrews cast a vision of helping people within the Wa-Nee school district who fell through the cracks. She began with a food pantry which grew to a clothes closet which grew to a rent and utility assistance program. Over the years, the programs of FCDC have expanded to include medication assistance, a baby immunization clinic and a baby CARE closet. They serve people in the day-to-day without much fanfare, but their multi-generational impact is astounding.
Currently, FCDC serves over 10,000 individuals and 5,000 households. Their main goal in each situation is to see people’s lives transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit. As clients come and go, often times the employees and volunteers at FCDC don’t get to see the fruit of their work and investment in each client’s life. Recently, though, Executive Director Mark Mikel and his team have been blessed by stories of changed lives.
Mikel tells the story of a family who received financial help through the housing assistance program over 10 years ago. The family simply asked for help in winterizing their home, yet the staff and volunteers were able to do so much more. They not only helped to winterize the home, but they also renovated a few rooms, providing the family with more space and a better living situation. As the years went on, FCDC lost contact with the family. This fall, though, the mom came back to FCDC to say thanks. All of her kids were either in college or had graduated from college, and her family has been financially stable for years thanks to the generosity of FCDC and of those who give to the organization.
As FCDC casts a vision for the future, they find themselves reminded of stories like that. In many situations, their programs are incredibly timely and fill a deep need in the community. Right now, Mikel sees a new need in the Wa-Nee community. Currently this area does not have a walk-in, urgent-care clinic for families who are under-insured or uninsured. Families without a primary care physician need to drive to Goshen, Elkhart, Bremen or Mishawaka to receive medical help. However, for many of the families FCDC serves, they do not have the resources to travel to the Emergency Room and pay for a visit that could be taken care of at this kind of clinic.
As Mark and his team dream about what this clinic could look like and what it would mean for this community, they want to be sensitive to where the Holy Spirit is leading them. As an organization, they want to look past what they think would be best for the community and see the needs through a Spirit-filled lens. They need wisdom and discernment to see where God might be leading them.
In the midst of this process of casting a vision for the future, FCDC’s current programs are running strong. People from the community can come to the food pantry and clothing closet every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00-3:00 p.m. They still hold immunization clinics for babies and run the baby CARE closet. Yet, to run daily operations, they need support from the community. Since FCDC began, the community has supported them both with time and resources, but as they continue to grow, they need continual support.
One way you can get involved with FCDC is by volunteering for or donating to the Christmas Jubilee. This event will be December 12 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. It’s a chance for FCDC’s clients to “shop” for gifts for their children. In 2014, over 300 children and 120 families received gifts because of the community’s generosity. If you would like to be part of this year’s Christmas Jubilee contact Idella Chupp at (574)773-2149.
Sometimes we can become blind to the needs in our own communities. As we take time to “Give It All Away,” consider how God may be asking you to give more than monetary resources.
For more information about how you can get involved with FCDC, click here.