PACEM Seeks Donations to Prepare for Next Year After Long Winter
The long winter has a regional shelter hurting for funds. People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry (PACEM) has stayed busy keeping people out of the cold, dangerous temperatures. Now, it is asking for a little help of its own.
The seasonal shelter is stopping its services at the end of this week. Now that the cold weather will soon be over, it's time for PACEM to start saving for its next busy season.
Richard Clay used PACEM's services extensively this winter.
"What I've seen is strangers pulling together to help people that they don't even know,” said Clay.
PACEM sets homeless men and women up with central Virginia churches where they can sleep at night. But for Clay, the shelters provided more than a roof over his head; its volunteers have provided compassion.
"Not only my physical state but my mental health, my spiritual health because of their council of churches being many different denominations offering counseling and mentor services and personal talk services,” said Clay.
Now, the organization that spent the entire winter helping others is asking the community for help. PACEM's Executive Director Dawn Grzegorczyk says their funding is down 6 percent this year compared to the same time last year.
PACEM volunteers were left scrambling during the winter storms, forced to find their own way to transport people to area congregations, as buses stopped providing service.
"The weather hasn't cooperated. We needed more staff to transport folks and to staff our shelters,” said Grzegorczyk.
Now, as the winter wraps up and spring moves in, PACEM is preparing to close it's doors - but that doesn't mean the need has stopped.
"We've been a lot fuller this week. We've had a lot more guests than we usually do during our final week of shelter,” said Grzegorczyk.
PACEM will end its services for the season on Sunday. To donate, click here.
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