Charitable program comes full circle
After more than a decade of work and thousands of meals served, Northend Outreach Ministry (NOM) has fulfilled its mission and elected to donate its remaining funds to Information Referral and Assistance Services (IRAS), another local nonprofit that runs a community food bank.
“It was a wonderful group of women working toward this vision to feed youth on the north side of town,” Harding explains. “We would have loved to continue on. But the need in Clinton is so much greater than the families we were helping, and we truly felt we needed to donate our funds to a more far-reaching organization – Information Referral and Assistance Services. We felt our families could access more resources through IRAS.”
The River Bluff Community Foundation made several grants to NOM to support its mission. “NOM was recognized throughout our community as finding a problem and addressing it,” says Community Foundation board member Francie Hill Rathje. “The new effort, giving remaining funding to IRAS, further shows how the need continues to be addressed now through the community.”
Last summer, the Clinton Community School District began serving meals in an elementary school on the north side of Clinton. With that service established, the members of NOM feel their goal has been accomplished.
Regan Michelson, executive director of IRAS, is grateful to NOM for its support, particularly during a difficult time for many community members. “With pandemic benefits getting cut at the same time the prices of food and gas have risen, more people are asking for help than ever before, many for the first time.” says Michelson. “We truly could not meet the growing needs without the support that we received from NOM.”
Harding calls the end of NOM bittersweet. She recalls many heartwarming memories of helping others, such as the Christmas when NOM distributed handmade pillowcases and pillows and the times it collected toothbrushes from local dentists.
NOM sent a letter to all its families letting them know the organization would no longer provide a service. It also shared information about other resources that can help with food and other necessities in Clinton.
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