Celeste Eubanks, chair of the Open Doors, Inc. board of directors, has announced the first distribution of funds in support of community ministries in the Mobile District of the United Methodist Church. On February 18, 2014, the board approved recommendations by the Distribution Committee for allocating $20,000 in funds generated by the Open Doors Resale and Thrift Store in 2013.
“This distribution of funds is very important to the store volunteers,” stated Sarah Doyle, chair of the store committee. “We have been working very hard since December 2012 to meet this objective. The only reason we have the store is to help fund community ministries of interest to Methodists.”
Community ministries supported by the first distribution are:
Babies First Program of the United Methodist Children’s Home
Dumas Wesley Community Center
Community Outreach, West Wilmer United Methodist Church
Metro Jail Ministry of the Mobile Area Interfaith Conference
United Methodist Inner City Mission
Wesley Foundation, University of South Alabama
In addition to the distribution of funds to these organizations, the Open Doors board created a trust fund that will provide perpetual support for Methodist supported community ministries.
The board is considering a second distribution in the summer 2014, dependent on available funds by that time. In addition to current recipients, it is anticipated that other organizations and churches providing community ministries will have an opportunity to apply and be considered for an allocation.
Open Doors, Inc. was founded in 2012 as a strategy for generating support for Methodist community ministries and other programs of interest to Methodists in the Mobile District. The “Methodists on Mission” theme provides a focus for living the Gospel and teachings of the church.
The Open Doors Resale and Thrift Store began with a Christmas Shop at St. Mark United Methodist in December 2012, followed by monthly sales at Pleasant Valley United Methodist for April, May, June and July 2013 before moving to its full-time location at 4125 Government Boulevard in August.
Rev. Charles Fail is credited with founding the store under the banner of Open Doors, Inc. He retired from full-time duty as a pastor in January and now serves as the store director with responsibility for building and maintaining support in the Methodist community.
“We are just getting started,” continued Sarah Doyle. “The store has had remarkable support by Methodists and is well received by the community in general with a continuous flow of donations and shoppers. Our store volunteers have been a tremendous part of the store’s success. We need more volunteers to help us reach full potential with donations, merchandizing and sales.”
Information about Open Doors, Inc. is available at www.opendoorsal.org. Information about the store is available by request at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 251.661-5661.
Celeste Eubanks (left) and Sarah Doyle (right)
present Tonny Algood, executive director United
Methodist Inner City Mission, with a check.