Famous football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.” Even though Coach Lombardi has been deceased for several years, I still particularly like this quote because it states so well our philosophy at the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office. That philosophy is one of partnering with non-profit and social service agencies in our community to better serve our clients.
Our office can provide eligible clients with help for their basic necessities, but our clients may have other needs that we cannot meet. For example, Townships can pay utility bills, but Indiana law does not permit us to use our tax money to pay utility deposits. A client may need assistance both with a utility bill and a utility deposit before he or she can get utility service turned on in the family’s home. That is when we might turn to another agency, which can pay deposits, for help for our client.
One of the agencies to which we often turn is InAsMuch Ministry, located at Broadway Christian Church. InAsMuch, under the direction of Pastor Alyn Biddle, has been helping those in need in our community for 30 years. The program now includes 20 churches of various denominations located in Fort Wayne and Allen County. Wayne Township Resource Specialist Dennis Powell, whose job is to work with outside agencies to find additional help for our clients, is thankful for the assistance InAsMuch offers.
InAsMuch is now undertaking a much needed expansion of its facility, Broadway Christian Administrative Minister Ken Sanders explained. The program will be expanding into the Edge Building next door to the church. The current facility does not have separate rooms for volunteers to speak with clients, and clients must climb two flights of stairs to reach the interview area. The food and clothing bank are not in close proximity to the interview area. With the increasing number of clients and increasing need in our community, a larger and more efficient facility was necessary.
The Edge Building, Pastor Sanders explained, has a very interesting history. It was built in 1902 and began its life as a grocery store. In the 1970s it was an adult bookstore, which ultimately was closed through efforts of the city and community. When the building was sold at auction, the church purchased it.
Remodeling a building which is over 100 years old is expensive, even though much of the work is being done by volunteers. A fundraising effort is underway, which has raised part of the money needed. To raise additional funds, Pastor Sanders has embarked on an exciting and very challenging project. He has decided to ride his bicycle 1,700 miles in 20 days from Florida back to Indiana, beginning on September 25 and covering six states. Part of his route will follow the Underground Railroad from Mobile, Alabama to Owensboro, Kentucky.
To accomplish his goal, Pastor Sanders will have to average 85 miles a day with many of the miles over very hilly terrain. He hopes to get pledges totaling a $100 a mile. Donations can be as little or as much as you want, he said. You can get more information, make pledges and follow Pastor Sanders on his ride by logging into his website, www.edgeride2011.com. You also will see on the website, under “The Rooters” heading, a video I was happy to do supporting InAsMuch. I enjoy riding my bicycle, but cannot imagine riding that far in such a short time.
One of the events I really enjoy every year is the Waynedale Picnic. The picnic is scheduled for this Saturday, and Wayne Township has some special plans for our booth. Please stop by and visit with us at the Waynedale Picnic. I hope to see you there.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee
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