TERRE HAUTE —
Offering “a heart for every neighbor” continues to be the mission of Covenant Cooperative Ministries, an organization that offers assistance and social services along with a Christian message to needy people throughout the Wabash Valley.
Reorganization has occurred following last year’s death of Rose Aycock, CCM’s founder and executive director.
Her husband, board chairman Mike Aycock, and the interim executive director, Tracy Hamilton, told the Tribune-Star the ministry will continue to reach out with the assistance of 140 church partners in 19 area counties.
“None of us is Rose,” Mike Aycock said. “She had a particular mission and a particular way. But we can reflect some of that love through this ministry.”
CCM’s food pantry will reopen from 11 to 1 p.m. on Feb. 22 at its office and warehouse at 101⁄2 and Walnut streets. Anyone needing help should call CCM at 812-478-7700 by Feb. 19 to arrange an appointment for the 22nd. The ministry said all messages left about the food pantry will receive a return call.
For now, the food pantry will be open only on the fourth Saturdays, Aycock said, with the hope that more days and hours will be added in the future.
The food pantry is not the only function of the ministry. Hamilton said the six board members have agreed to focus on becoming a “Hub” to Harvest Unseen Blessings through partnership with several churches and organizations in the Wabash Valley.
“Rose had a way of seeing the value in people when they couldn’t see the value in themselves,” Hamilton said. “And the Hub is an offshoot of that.”
It is a nondenominational partnership that works with many congregations, Hamilton said, because the ministry has maintained a good relationship with all Christian churches.
“Rose was able to do this because she lovingly cast a net out to so many people,” Aycock said of his late wife’s efforts to touch the needy in the community. “Rose had a saying. ‘There’s a mission field in your backyard.’ And for us, that means Covenant Cooperative Ministry can reach a lot of people in our backyard, and we can help others reach those in their backyards.”
Keeping the CCM’s operating costs low is another way that donations reach people in need.
Hamilton said that public support of CCM through donations is needed to meet the ongoing challenges of ministering to the public and providing assistance. In addition to the food pantry, the ministry has provided bicycles to children, Christmas gifts to needy families and has connected people to social services that can provide additional assistance.
“We want to lead people toward the salvation of Jesus Christ,” Hamilton said of spiritual foundation of the ministry. That means that a new chapel will be established inside the CCM facility where people can take time to pray and meditate without the pressure of being in a church setting.
Aycock said that ministry does not see itself as “in competition” with any others in the area. Many individuals, churches and organizations have donated generously in the past, he said, and the CCM board of directors is grateful for those contributions.
As a side note, Hamilton said that the CCM fork truck is quickly wearing out, and a donation of a used one would be most welcomed as the warehouse is restocked. The current fork truck was received through a donation, and it has been put to good use for many years.
Anyone wanting to contact CCM can send support to the ministry’s home at 122 S. 101⁄2 St., Terre Haute, IN 47807, or call 812-478-7700.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.