By Tia Lynn Ivey
For the last two weeks, the Morgan County Ministers Union has been doling out groceries to families need due to the impact of the coronavirus hitting people’s employment and finances. But now, as more churches and community groups join forces with the Ministers Union to provide help to struggling families, a new aspect on the efforts is slated to begin this week: paying for prescription medicine.
Chris Kennedy, secretary for Redeemer Church in Madison, has volunteered to take calls on Thursday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. from people seeking help with prescription medicine payments.
Reverend Robert Terrell, pastor of Union Springs Baptist Church in Rutledge, is thrilled to see the community rally together to help struggling families in a myriad of ways.
“We now have about 15 churches, other community groups, volunteers and donors, all working together to help people through the crisis of the coronavirus in our community,” said Terrell. “As more donations are coming in, we started to realize that people aren’t just struggling to buy food, but to pay for their medicine. So we want to help with that, too.”
If people need help paying for their medicine, they can call Redeemer Church on Thursday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to apply for the program. Call: (706) 438-1326.
“We want to do all we can to assist people,” said Terrell. “If the prescription is where we can take care of it, we will, if not, we will help pay toward it. It’s just as funding is available.”
The Ministers Union and all the community partners will still continue to give out groceries every Saturday, but will change location this week due to the enormous turnout, which caused a massive traffic jam in Downtown Madison last Saturday around Town Park. This week, on Saturday, May 9, groceries will be handed out, first-come, first-serve drive-thru style, from Morgan County High School, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Organizers are asking participants to enter the high school from College Drive through the West Entrance.
Last week, 150 grocery boxes were distributed to families in need in just 50 minutes.
“We were passing out three boxes per minute,” said Terrell.
Terrell is amazed at the generosity of the community since the Ministers Union started the grocery ministry with just $1500.
“As soon as word got out about what we were doing, more people wanted to join us and the funding keeps coming,” said Terrell. “We plan to do this for several more weeks as funding allows. This is a tremendous community effort, the biggest one I have seen in my lifetime.”
Terrell issued a thank you to Superintendent Dr. James Woodard for allowing the grocery giveaway to be conducted from the high school now.
“The superintendent was so kind to work with us, it’s such a blessing,” said Terrell.
Cornerstone Christian Church has also participated in the spirit of giving by providing hot meals for the people living in Madison’s low-income motels last week. Pastor Gary Pritchet with his wife and Koterris Carter were among the volunteers serving outdoor meals to those in need.
Madison Mayor Fred Perriman, a member of the Ministers Union, is also pleased to see the ministry grow and expand to help struggling families locally.
“It’s just incredible to see churches from all of our communities—Madison, Rutledge, Bostwick, Buckhead and Apalachee—come together in the spirit of One Morgan to help each other through these difficult times,” said Perriman.