Vision of Hope provides help in time of need

Posted By | November 29, 2013 12:00 am

Back row, from the left: Bobbie Swoape, of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Billy Holland, Tyler Roberts; second row, from the left, Ovean Phifer, Joy Wallace Webb, Linda Jones, of RSVP; front row, Glenn Swoape, of RSVP, Pam Yates, Charlie Jones

Cars flooded the parking lot at Vision of Hope on Thursday morning, many people coming as early as 6:30 a.m. to wait for the doors to open 8 a.m. From 8 a.m. until noon, Vision of Hope fed 239 people in that morning alone.
Joy Webb, who once owned the building, sold it to Doyle United Methodist Church to begin Vision of Hope. It has since evolved into a ministry feeding and clothing the community and beyond. The vision has reached even past Doyle, stretching out a helping hand as far as Cookeville, Spencer and McMinnville.
The organization runs purely on donations; all expenses and supplies are funded solely by giving. All workers operate on a volunteer basis. Vision of Hope has a front room with racks of clothes and shoes for men, women and children organized by size. There is also a section for dishes and other household items. One room to the side is set aside for items for infants, with stacks of diapers, clothes, toys, blankets and even car seats.
In the back, there’s a pantry, a freezer, a refrigeration area and a sorting room. In the sorting room, workers look through donations for anything that can be used.
“I wouldn’t give anybody anything I wouldn’t wear,” Webb stated.
Accepted clothing is free of stains and holes with as little wear and tear as possible. If people come in looking for a particular size for their children or themselves that isn’t currently in stock, they keep a record of the size so they can contact them when they have it. Volunteers have been known to get items from their own homes or food from their own refrigerators.
Volunteers use the donation money to purchase food in bulk from Feed America First four times per month. Recently, Vision of Hope celebrated an anonymous donation of $500 through Save-a-Lot, which enabled them to feed many families throughout Doyle. If someone called because they could not make the trip to the center, volunteers have taken food and supplies to them.
Vision of Hope is a Christian ministry, uniting workers from different churches for a common good. Every morning before they open the doors, the workers form a circle, join hands and pray. At opening time, they go outside to offer prayer to those outside. In the history of the organization, no one has ever turned down an offer of prayer.
Vision of Hope is extremely busy around the holidays. Oftentimes people will come in searching for clothes or toys for their kids around Christmas. This year, Vision of Hope is asking for the donation of gently used or new clothes, shoes and toys for children for Christmas.
Webb is thankful for the opportunity to serve.
“They feel like we bless them, but they, in turn, bless us,” she said. “Sometimes I’m having a bad day, and then I see these people and it makes me think. It’s humbling. It makes you forget about yourself.”

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