Jan. 14, 2021
Maggie Coleman had set what she thought was a pretty reasonable goal for 2020. The treasurer of J.O.Y Ministries in Columbia thought if this year’s Christmas campaign could bring in $14,000, considering the Covid pandemic, that would be a very successful effort.
After all, that’s one-third of the group’s operating budget, and what it raised last year.
When Coleman totaled up the numbers of this year’s campaign earlier this week, she received a huge surprise. It even made her take a second look. Through the end of December, J.O.Y. Ministries had raised $33,100.
“It pretty much covers our whole budget,” Coleman said with excitement in her voice. “Feeding America gave us a credit for food, so with that credit, we have our expenses covered for the year. That’s real exciting; and our basic ministry needs are covered, too.”
Coleman said though J.O.Y. Ministries did receive some larger donations, most of the donations this year came in small increments. The campaign began in mid-November.
“We had a lot of people give $50 here, or $50 there,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of big checks. One of the interesting things was a lot of the donors had never given before, so we’ve been able to expand our donor list, and that’s always a good thing. It has been pretty exciting.”
Coleman said she spoke with a gentleman who had called to inquire about the ministry, checking to make sure it was legitimate. He told her he had been reading about the ministry, was excited about what was being done.
“We’re looking at what we’re going to do because of the gifts. We will continue to do what we’ve done before, while maybe being able to offer more financial assistance, help with utilities,” Coleman said. “I am not sure what direction the board wants to go. Maybe we won’t have to be so tight, especially toward the end of the month.”
Several ministries the funds go to are the emergency shelter known as Cally’s House, their summer Mission Week, the after school program Camp HOPE, and the organization’s Crisis Resource Center.
“There were so many small donors in this campaign that we can actually say it was a community effort,” Coleman said. “That just shows how much we care about each other in this county. We’ve seen that all through Covid. I think it shows people want to step up and help.”
To contribute time or money to the ministries, reach out to the J.O.Y Ministries Crisis Resource Center at 411 Greensburg St. or at 270-380-1808 from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“I just want to tell everyone thank you,” said Coleman.
By Scott Wilson