Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Shine Your Light Wednesdays: Springfield Victory Mission

Springfield Victory Mission, located in Springfield, MO, began back in 1976.  Reverend and Mrs. Everett Cook started serving sandwiches from the back of their station wagon, down on the town square.  Their hope was to reach out to the homeless with the Gospel.  It has since grown into a phenomenal ministry, helping men, women, and children in their time of need, not only with physical needs, but with spiritual needs as well.

Springfield Victory Mission has several areas in which to volunteer or give; here are descriptions of what they do.
  • Family Ministries- This ministry involves pointing families in need to the basic necessities of life, including food, clothing, medical help, household items, counseling, etc.  
  • Victory Chapel- This area of the Mission provides nightly chapel services, along with a hot meal; there are also discipleship classes that one can attend.
  • Victory House- This ministry is aimed toward women and helps to educate them in a way that they can learn life, parenting, job, and even Bible skills.  Its aim is to help these women get back into society and become "productive citizens."  With this "faith-based" life skills/job training, these women can get out into society and make a difference.
  • Victory Square- This ministry is aimed toward men and provides about 50 men with a clean place to stay at night, as well as a sober place.  With the Victory Transitions program, they can learn life skills, attend group meetings, talk with chaplains, and make phone calls or use a computer.  The Victory Lodge provides rooms for up to 60 men, each room housing 4-6 men.  These men have to pay a small fee to stay there, but they also have to deal with fewer men and have many more "privileges."  Victory Life is another facet of this ministry, and it helps men who are struggling with sobriety; it also teaches life skills and offers Bible studies and recovery help.  They offer a new 12-step recovery program called the "12/12." 
  • Victory Trade School- This ministry helps 40 men to get an education.  After graduating from the Victory Prep program, which involves life skills, recovery classes, etc., they are eligible to begin the Victory Trade School, in which they can choose to learn either culinary skills or hospitality skills, also acquiring a national credential with ManageFirst.  The Victory Trade School students actually operate a restaurant called The Cook's Kettle Restaurant; this gives them on-the-job training.
  • Victory Vintage is sort of like a thrift store ministry, offering different items for sale.  All of the proceeds go back into the ministry of Victory Mission.  It's also a place that those in need can go to get things, including household items, clothing, toys, etc.  Victory Vintage also offers items for sale on Ebay.  You can do an advanced search and enter "wmeware" in the Seller's User ID field to see what they have listed. 
  • Warehouse/Recycling Center- This is where all of the items used to help in their ministry are gone through and processed.  They accept not only clothing items, but they accept forms of recyclables as well, including metals, cardboard, etc.  The money earned through this facet of the ministry goes back into other areas of the Victory Mission.  
  • Wishes Through Victory- This ministry is directed at helping people with developmental disabilities to receive items that they might need.  
  • Sammy's Window is a partnership with the Springfield Victory Mission.  This ministry helps to provide basic needs for children entering the foster care system.  This ministry would provide an initial canvas bag filled with basic necessities for each child, as well as stocking a bank full of these supplies, so that stress can be reduced on the foster parents.  They also want to provide a mobile unit to reach out to other local communities.
The Springfield Victory Mission provides all this and more.  They also serve seniors, as well as provide a weekly prayer meeting for local businessmen.  You can shop at the Springfield Victory Mission Online Store.  Victory Mission also has a Gift Catalog you can shop from to help the neediest in our community.  You can help by donating money or items; you can even volunteer your time.  Just $2.10 will provide one complete meal for someone who is hungry and struggling.  With Christmas in just 2 days, maybe this is a ministry that will spark an interest in your heart....Merry Christmas.  

(Reverend Jim Harriger is the Executive Director of the Springfield Victory Mission; he actually has a blog that you can read.)    


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