WIRED initiative

JEREMY WISE / DOTHAN EAGLE

Love in Action staff and volunteers prepare lunches for those in need Wednesday. The organization, with the aid of WIRED Ministries, hopes to build a warehouse that will store food for itself and other ministries in the Wiregrass area.

If assisting Dothan City Schools in its consolidation efforts were not a large enough task, WIRED Ministries appears set to tackle an even larger initiative this month.

On Wednesday WIRED Ministries officials announced the launch of the group’s “Game Changer” program, a fundraising effort that will support projects for itself and 10 other religion-based nonprofit groups. WIRED executive director Mark Anderson said the group aims to raise $250,000 when it launches an online donation platform through its website, wiredministries.com, on June 17.

The organization will also accept donations through kiosks at the Dothan Civic Center during its evening gatherings on June 23 to June 28. Anderson said the new initiative aims to change the face of ministries in the Wiregrass area for years to come.

“We asked (the groups) to look at more than just the regular projects. We asked them to look at things they have been praying for,” he said. “We asked them, ‘What would change the landscape of their ministries?’”

Each group was asked to submit project ideas that had a budget of between $10,000 and $25,000, and each complied, Anderson said. Many of the projects involve construction or renovation in efforts to expand and/or improve each program’s impact.

>> Living Hope seeks to make structural improvements at its North Lena Street location – including an expansion of its clothing closet that provides to those in need.

>> Dothan Rescue Mission wishes to renovate its dining facility to improve the functionality and its environment.

>> Love in Action Ministries hopes to build a warehouse for food storage for multiple ministries – including The Ark and The Harbor – at its West Main Street location.

>> Southeast Alabama Baptist Association wants to develop a mobile ministry center to meet the needs of people in rural Houston County.

>> Hope Rising seeks to establish a safe house for female victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

>> The Alabama Baptist Children’s Home wishes to develop a visitation room that fosters better connections between parents and their children.

>> The Ark hopes to renovate the third floor of its West Main Street facility in order to increase the number of men’s apartments by 23.

>> The Harbor wants to double the budget for its partnership with The Ark, which helps people transition from prison, homelessness, or addiction into better situations.

>> Living Waters Counseling seeks to expand the art studio it uses to accommodate and serve more clients.

>>Wiregrass Hope Group, which recently purchased the former Schad Florist building, wants to renovate some of the space to expand its baby boutique – helping new mothers in need.

>> WIRED hopes to use some funds to pay for moving costs associated with helping in the DCS consolidation efforts.

Anderson said the money raised will be doled out in grants based on the percentage of funds raised. He believes the amount raised will exceed the targeted goal.

The initiative coincides with the ministry’s intensive focus on serving the community through its annual youth missions camp, routinely held in late June. The organization currently plans on conducting the “Game Changer” program for this year only, Anderson said.

But the benefit of the campaign could be tremendous, even if its brief, said Ken Tuck, Love in Action executive director.

“It is a game changer,” he said. “What’s great is it’s not just for us but for other ministries that we work with (and) even the people we serve. They make what we do better and a lot more efficient.”

Tuck said LIA’s warehouse project – and WIRED’s support of it – also emphasizes the importance of unity across churches and ministries. In order to build a warehouse for $25,000, The Ark’s construction team will provide labor as an example.

“It’s thinking out of the box, but it’s also thinking like the Bible tells us – to help one another,” Tuck said. “Throughout the early (Christian) church, they’re helping one another. They sold their items, their properties, their homes, to help meet the needs of those within the church. That’s kind of what is going on here. WIRED is being a catalyst for people to move.”

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