by Amy Caskie on March 01, 2021
by Beth Hanson
In case you haven’t heard by now, with the unfortunate ending of the Annual Mission Council Garage Sale after 24 long years, the Trading Post has become the main fund-raising entity for Mission Council. In spite of the pandemic, business has remained steady on the three days we are still open. In fact, in January we were able to raise just shy of $4,000. The need for affordable clothing and household items is greater than ever, and the congregation and others in the community have continued to generously drop-off donations of all kinds for us to sell. So we forge ahead in spite of the many roadblocks.
Some of our shoppers come in just to see a friendly face and get cheered up. One of our loyal elderly patrons, who visits us weekly, recently told us that his wife had a stroke. Even after a month, he said he hadn’t been allowed to visit her in the hospital due to the pandemic, and he can’t talk to her on the phone because she can no longer speak. It was heart-breaking to hear his story and we told him we were so glad he was still coming to the shop as it was always good to see him. “Well,” he said with such sad, mournful eyes, “This is the only place I go.” It was a good reminder that even a store can be a mission of sorts as every human encounter is an opportunity to express care and kindness and to help people be seen and heard in these days of isolation.
The Trading Post is reopened for business after being closed for one week in February for the installation of some new flooring, replacing some of the original 1950’s linoleum. Our hours continue to be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Donations can be dropped off inside the front door of the Annex Building which is located at the back of the South Campus parking lot. While you are stuck at home and find yourself purging your belongings, we would love for you to bring us your extra clothing, kitchen items, linens, books, jewelry, CDs/DVDs/LPs, toys, craft supplies, glassware, baskets, knick-knacks, sporting goods, artwork, office supplies, hardware……you name it! We take almost anything except furniture because we don’t have enough room for larger items. If you have a question about whether we will take a certain item, please call us at: (614) 488-6564 during business hours. It’s time for spring and Easter merchandise, so do come in and see us!
by Kitty Rohrer
This has traditionally been the time of year that First Community has hosted a festive dinner to celebrate Deep Griha Society (DGS), an outreach program working in the slums & rural areas of Pune, India. Unfortunately in this age of COVID, we aren’t able to gather and share a meal. In its place, however, DG USA is joining with DG UK & DGS in Pune to present a Global Webinar to celebrate the outstanding work and services that DGS continues to provide to the residents of Pune despite the challenges of COVID. The need for assistance and support of basic needs is greater than ever. At the end of this exciting event, there will be an opportunity to initiate or renew child sponsorships and/or to make a donation to the area of greatest need. Details of the event are below.
The Share and Learn Garden at First Community North recently was awarded a 2021 Urban Gardening Grant. In the past, The City of Columbus, Franklin County, and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation offered separate grants to further the development of community gardens. Now, these three funding partners use one application process. The grant, in the amount of $2,000 is for garden upgrades and almost $600 for garden supplies, was written by Cheryl VanDeusen. The 2021 garden will see a new pumpkin patch, additions to the pollinator area, and expanded installations to our drip-irrigation system by irrigation specialist Erik Mars.
We hope to be able to work again with the children of the Mary Evans Child Development Center sometime in 2021 – they are precious, eager to learn, and lots of fun! Feel free to stop and check out our garden (during non-school hours) as it begins to green up this Spring. If you would like to join the gardening volunteer group, please call Loren and Cheryl VanDeusen at 614-824-7870 or e-mail them at We follow CDC Covid-19 precautions to keep all volunteers safe. Come on, Spring!
Photos in loving memory of Jim Ledman.
by Emily Della Fera
Literacy classes are full steam ahead. The 10 new literacy classes started in January with a total of 312 students. Each group meets for about four hours each afternoon, five days a week. They are all using COVID precautions. Everyone is committed to success, and the classes are going well. Below are some photos.
Also, the women's association of Goundoly Djeninke had a very successful year with their indigo dyeing business. They began with a startup fund of 750,000 CFA ($1,387 USD), which they received as winners of the business plan contest in 2020. Since then, they have expanded their fund to 1,400,000 CFA ($2,590 USD)! In a general assembly, they decided to use some of the interest they had generated to buy koro taru, which are culturally significant musical instruments and decorations. These are used as shakers to accompany drums during dances and also as adornments for all kinds of ceremonies.
Thank you for your continued support of our Women's Literacy, Leadership, and Enterprise Program.
Click an image below to read updates from our mission partners.