Focus on the Upstate 77 - Miracle Hill - 10/29/2017

Focus on the Upstate
Sunday, October 29th
Sandy Furnell, Communications and Marketing Director, and Minda Shelton, Director of Shepherd’s Gate, join us to talk about Miracle Hill’s annual turkey fry coming up, plus all the things Miracle Hill does throughout the year, including homeless shelters, addiction recovery, foster child care, and thrift stores.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to focus on the upstate a program dedicated to informing you about organizations that serve our community. How you can get involved with him. Here's your host Chris Evans. Good morning and welcome to focus on the upstate my name is Chris Evans today my guests are seen you for help. The communications and marketing director and named Shelton the director of shepard's case from miracle Gil good morning ladies howdy do and thank AT and warning to be here thank you very much for being here. Miracle he'll start off with a question that I normally do you tell us what this miracle hills do and who do you do it for. TV show or miracle health ministries has actually been around since 1937. And we started out as a soup kitchens so that we'll give everybody a little okay you as to what we do. We serve the homeless all across the upstate and as the organization has grown to the years you know there are a lot of things that. A current people's lives because of homelessness and different causes. And so through the years we've added other parts so we now actually have addiction recovery as well. So we have a couple of addiction recovery centers residential one for men and one for women. Are homeless shelters are all across the upstate so we spread all the way from. Cherokee county Spartanburg county. Greenville county and on into Pickens County as well and we serve children. Men women we we run a lot irony absolutely. And we also have a Foster care program so we are helping homeless children and that way as well. And we right now have over 225. Foster families. That are licensed and so we care for those Foster families and support them on their Foster care journey. An and one other little thing that we have is we do have our thrift stores a lot of people probably seek medical help or stores around the upstate that. That Tino is a way for people to get involved. And help serve the homeless in the community because when people donate the proceeds that we get from that organ that particular part of the ministry go right back into our shelters. And I'm glad you brought up donation and and people serving in in that way. Talk a little bit about the opportunities for. Hoping miracle hill that that a listeners might be able to take advantage of either by donating their their money their time or anything else. Our organization. Really almost couldn't exist and I think man and I agree with us without our volunteers. We had so many people literally thousands. Of volunteers. Who come along side are different shelters and ministries all throughout the year. They provide invaluable services today mentor people and our programs. They help serve meals they help with yard work at our shelters. They may be take people to appointments you know people who need to be driven to jobs and things like that so. I can tell you that the volunteers are incredibly valuable and miracle hill and always have been and always will be. Because when you think about people's lives that are hurting their broken. Dane need people to come along side them to help him. Get back into the community to get back into a place where they have healthy relationships. So when people get involved. In other people's lives I mean it's messy. But it's what has to happen in order for people to get back to where they need to be. Part of the community so volunteers are incredibly important. And of course financial donations I would say at least 65%. Of our financial support comes from individuals. We do you have some. Foundation's support. Businesses that support us charges that support S backed government funding or anything not so much added we do have a little bit of support that comes to DS lasts for our Foster care program because obviously the challenge account to last country DS test. The largely independent organizations and individuals that that are providing funding primarily and and eat I think about. Food donations you know mend you tell us about the food that comes and shepherd's gate it's unbelievable. Or we would not each refresh did get word not for people bringing us food. I just wanna give a shout out if I can to a particular. On the fresh market. Week to go and pick up at the fresh market every day. Really every day and week though we bring back. Amazing fruits vegetables. Meat. On milk so many different things and many. Days in fact I would say almost every day. We get enough food from the fresh market. For the Greenville rescue mission to be said that sometimes we take food over to our addiction centers so they are amazed seeing. I found there was a restaurant in the area that this is kind of a sad story and way. On that the man they had to close it down children that he called shepherd's gate and asked us if we wanted. All of the food anything that he had to punish him and he helped us in his Lola and everything. And just gave us all of the things that he had in his restaurant. On and that was an amazing thing as well and then we have. Sometimes people will bring for Kansas corn and you know they'll come in the so we're so sorry this is all we can bring this thing that's green and because later on that day or maybe the next eight. Somebody also bring front ends of Koresh and eventually we've got enough corn to. Feed people firm meal and it's amazing. How that all works together. Now shepherd's gate you're the director sheppard's game. Tell us exactly what shepherd's gate isn't he also mentioned Greene the rescue mission yes you know is kind of related note it is crystal delay out of those organizations. OK if I think if you're reading a definition somewhere they would say we are Christian. Homeless. Shelter because what they would take home we housed just women. An end and that makes it very nice on that we have just women in our building and then the Greeneville rescue mission houses. Men took on and there are on the other side of town and that's nice. His altitude sort of divided unisex shelters absolutely but miracle hill also sandy has more shelters and that that that house both men and women and children. Absolutely. If you go up the road a piece of I 85 up tour Gaffney. In actually we have our Cherokee county rescue mission and they care they actually serve men women and children all the same time in the same facility. In our Spartanburg rescue mission likewise men women and children. But then beyond that we have our children's home which is in Pickens county and our children's home is just for children. Who have been abused neglected. A band and I mean for all intents and purposes they are homeless and because they don't really have their home city and so we're able to take them and that and our children's home has cottage style living where we'll have house parents who actually care for a small group. Of kids who are all the same gender so maybe you'll have. House that has ages you know in the ninth to eleven or something like all boys. And so in the house parents try to give them that feeling of being at home and be loved by parents. So I am it's not the same as being at home but it's definitely a safe haven for these kids. So we definitely you know we run all across the upstate and I decide to speak to something tear when we say that we are a Christian organization definitely that's our perspective that's what we share with people. Obviously we're not gonna force out of people but but what I will say is we're open to anyone who comes to accept that you're not exclusive. Just not at all Christians are absolutely it's it's open to anyone in need in the community comes to us. And I do want to say that we're a women's shelter. For women with or without children because some yeah Thomas come and to bring their children with them. And we don't have a lot of them we can have maybe one to ten and any given time but that we do have some children. Sandy ordered to go back real quick to the topic of donations he made an interesting point about about financial donations which I think is probably the the first thing that comes to mind when now when people think of donating to an organization ruling miracle pill. And also volunteer opportunities again the first thing comes to mind is team working in the soup kitchen you know filling plates and and things like that handing them out. But there's so many opportunities that you have to to donate other things you mentioned at the thrift shops I mean things that wind up in the thrift shops are usually donated items I gather. And even beyond that large items such as vehicles and can be donated. And then also the volunteer opportunities and you mentioned the mowing the lawn at one of the of one of the shelters you know did I mean these are things that need to get done as an organization. So let's talk a little bit about this review need donation and volunteer opportunities with miracle. Well here's one kind of really interesting line at the Greenville rescue mission. Once a month to date have a birthday party so that every wine in the shelter every guest who has a birthday in that month. They're gonna be celebrated. Does he think about these folks who are in the shelter. They're very much displaced. From everything that feels. Call me and family and she and connected. So by having a birth state party. This is actually helping them feel like their lives are being celebrated that people care about them. So will have organizations. And maybe it might be a church group or some other business group whenever that says we're going to sponsor. The birthday party at degree angle rescue mission this month so they'll bring the supplies they'll bring the cake and cookies. Whatever it is maybe some special entertainment or something fun to do together. And Dell com and they'll rub shoulders with the guests don't spend time with them. They'll make them feel like well we care about your life matters so that's a really cool volunteer opportunity I'm. Another thing that I think about somebody came in visited. And was touring around a degree in the rescue mission and noticed this. Fabulous. To that we have a degree rescue mission. And they said while this is really a neat kind of place for sports do you ever have Chinese sports activities going on and here. We said well you know sometimes the guys are coming in play basketball or this and that. And this guy I happen to have a background in tennis so he said well there's a really awesome game called pickle ball. He said I would if we can get volunteers to come in and once a week. Play pickle ball with a nice to get them up get them did get them purposeful. And so that they started back and it was amazing they came and and the first time they came they brought equipment actually the Crocs and her help with that tee they brought some of the equipment and and these volunteers came men. As started playing pickle ball and the guys were a little reluctant at first but then once they started playing and seeing how fun it was. You know they got involved so I think people bring to the table their own gifts and experience and sometimes I'm quite amazed actually. At what people come to our facilities and offered to deal maybe it's wow IA I love to you I'm do you hair and nails. I think you probably have something like that it shepherd's gate yeah. As we had this story always comes to my mind because I think anybody could do this it was a Sunday I walked in. To shepherd's day I was working it was the only staff member there and the ladies look handing extricating. And they had like a shrine of toilet paper set up there were three rolls of toilet paper. Sitting their and they said this is how we have this is all we have. They were panicked yeah and I said well you know we just piling eat pray about this because I'm the only staff member here can't go get to the paper right now. So that morning went night in about lunchtime. A couple came and they say to you take clothing here and I said. Oh my goodness yes we we love that because people are looking for jobs and into an all kinds of things. So they started unloading their car with clothing that they were no longer UC. And then I mean Cain ticket. To the desk to fill out the the receipt that we give. And he said you know I I you probably don't need this but my wife and I we're shopping this week and content you know this beat twelve package rolls of toilet paper it was buy one get one free each. And before I realized what it was doing it was out from behind a desk and I was going toward him to give him a hug and he was like backing away like a what is probably do but I said oh my goodness we were mean. For toilet paper this morning and so I went up to the car and there was 24 rolls of toilet paper the next morning when I walked in. The whole wall from in front of our receptionist desk. Down to my office halfway up the wall. Was filled with paper towels. Toilet paper paper napkins at church had been collecting that for a whole month. For us. And there was cash so you know that just happens and people to death forest all the time be careful what you pretty far right now. So you know if you can't do pickle ball may be comparing toilet paper somewhere everybody can do something and for us. Whatever it is it's always important always. I think it's interesting because I feel like all of this speaks to. The nature of homelessness in our society today is is that they're largely forgotten people and annexing the word invisible as frequently self described them and you make a point. A scene the invisible and helping them you know where other people might not even have noticed. I think one of the things that we all need to remember is that. We need to identify. With people around us because. When you set yourself apart and say well I'm not like them are I would never be like that attack that never happened to me. That is the most rock thinking that we can ever had because easy. You gotta think about how you are like people not hired different from the minute and the way that that that you mentioned people coming in in and clean pickle ball into the I like sports so maybe other people exports to death and eat it gives you an opportunity when you think about your similarities rather than differences to to connect with. People and what we wanna do in our organization as we want to you empower people and see them help them see themselves differently. Because if you comment 21 of our shelters and you're feeling very hopeless. That my life can never be any different from this is this is just he'll Miami this is where I am this is where I'll always be. But if we give them that glimmer of hope and help them to see that yes you can't move forward you can't move beyond this. It's amazing how just giving them not little sparkle of hope. And it might come from a volunteer and might come from San toilet paper donations that inspired them that might help people really do care about us we're not alone. We see this all the time and I think what we need to remember is calm moment when people look at the homeless. I'm I think if if somebody said you know think about what a homeless person looks like TU. I own they're gonna describe someone very similar. The what people need to remember is that we have nurses armor nurses. We had glory years school teachers we hit people with master's degrees it's not. I'm. Often what we think a homeless person yes. And it's just some Wiener. In their life betray something happened. That they can't relate to somebody else for some reason and that pain becomes. Overwhelmed mean. And therefore they try to. I'm medicate themselves some way or another whether it be. Drugs prescription medications alcohol some clean that then goes to the extreme. And then that's what starts dealing their life are over and over again. And I know that miracle hill one of the other services that you focus on his addiction recovery and I wonder. A let's talk a little bit about that I wonder if if you see kind of a prevalence of an association between homelessness and trying to the self medicate I guess in that in that way. Absolutely I would say. That and we talked about this is a staff over and over because we never. Want to give any kind of numbers that are not accurate. But we would say that a high 90%. Titles. Of our. Ladies in in our show terror have addiction issues of some sort that's it that's high percent of its shots in a lot. And done when we start learning their stories. So many of them started the addiction. Journey. Because of some tragic. Thing that happened to them when they were a child that that their mind couldn't wrap around. And it's very very sad. So so really the services that miracle hill provides are a real kind of in a related this homeless shelters the addiction recovery. The Foster care that you do that than you know the children that you work with they're different facets of the same jam. We like to say that we provide comprehensive care because that's what we're trying to do were trying to look at. This person holistic Lee and say well what is it that's really going on in their life okay they've got an addiction issues so let's let's deal with fat. They've got an underemployment issue so let's deal with fat so maybe that's organ a partner with. Bring illiteracy association or another literacy organization that's gonna help them to reach those levels of skill. Maybe it's I housing issue. A whole you know transportation issue so it's complicated and so we try to look at that and say. How can we help how can we partner with other organizations that can help. Can't even I think about health issues I mean sometimes. I remember speaking to a guy at the green the rescue mission and you literally had. A very very difficult health issue that came up after he was deployed overseas. He went overseas and in the military went to Iraq. Came back and had some kind of terrible disease that came up after his Som released from the military. And it was back at the cannistraro a Frontline yeah and it's that's a major illness then put him on a downward spiral. Too where he ended up losing his family. He lost his home he ended up then trying to self medicate so it was just his very complicated thing. And so there's a lot of layers that we have to work through to help people get back to that place of stability and we don't do it alone now by any stretch of the intensity. And I and I would add as well. People wonder well why if the percentage of addiction. Is so high in the shelter right why don't they go to your addiction program right. But. The ladies that want to be in child terror. There's still a place where they feel like if they if they can just get a better job right they can get another place to stay so they haven't come to the place in their life that they're saying I have addiction issue right. Sent away and that's typical of of people who have substance abuse problems is okay. You've got to want to solve that problem and is being forced into any kind of a recovery program often doesn't work there's there's recidivism. It does not it does not work. Anna and I want to saying that every person in our shelter has an additional an issue speaking back to the story of the lady she. Had been holed that that. You know she was not ever going to be able to work more than may be you know five hours a week or how where's the hope that manage you know. And you know we encouraged her that she she needed to be able to. Take care of herself so she worked really hard got a job they gave her. But good solid part time job. And you could see the change in her and she would go and just do her best did a really good job. They then offered her a fulltime job and it changed that lady's life you could see on her face. That she felt. Like she had worked night there was suddenly turn Lee a worse. Turn her life. And her face just glued it just glowed she was able to save enough money and find a place. Tim lived that met her needs and she is just in just stretch out a jam. Of tallying the with hope. What can happen not competing and so yeah ha it's amazing now. Believe you me these ladies could go on at length yeah how about all the different things that the miracle pill does and how how well they do the men and how many people you serve but. Before we run out of time because we've only got half an hour we've got to get to the the great Turkey Fryer that's coming up because this is actually. What what prompted me to invite you here today. I tell us about this this great possible Turkey fry coming up on November 21 saint. This is so exciting and this is our eleventh year and it started out really small and and we ended up I think that first year was maybe forty or fifty turkeys that got collect. Well it's grown through the years and now. We are cooking we're frying and smoking 5109800. Turkeys and it takes a lot of volunteers as you can imagine yes I'm so people come out to the Spartanburg rescue mission and they help. Cut up vegetables and prepare side dishes because. This food is gonna go to our shelters we have nine. Facilities across the upstate so the turkeys some of the side dishes different things are gonna go to the shelters so that. Folks in our shelters are gonna have a wonderful. Thanksgiving meal. And I'll tell you something it's interesting tier is on some people on notice but. At evergreen eagle rescue mission especially they actually opening up to the public so if some interest in and coming and sharing it. Thanksgiving meal with the folks at the green the rescue mission they are welcome to come so give the prima rescue mission a call to find out more details about that. But in addition to serving the folks in our shelters. Sometimes they'll have extended family members or friends who can. So then beyond that there are folks in just the surrounding community who maybe aren't a bad place to roam impoverished. So we'll share food with them as well we get a lot of turkeys donated as has some has passed the line. Our Foster families or get turkeys as well it's a lot of fun I will say that I am the smell of Turkey while. Any air. I can just imagine that tis the season of course meant is you're mentioning people donating canned goods and this is the time of year that people frequently think I'm donating those kinds of things and lots of churches are collecting that sort of stuff. Let me just say if you want more information about the great possible Turkey fry or really anything that miracle pill does visit the website miracle hill dot org. Miracle held out Horry and find information about donating it either to exit the Turkey fry at Ortiz in general to it to miracle bill. Volunteer opportunities I imagine will be their contact opportunities you may need to partake of services and that sort of thing miracle hill dot org. See any for Dell communications and marketing director for miracle hill and Mindy Shelton director of shepherd's gate and my guest today thank you very much ladies and being here happiness. That's been my pleasure I'm Chris Evans and this has been focused on kept it. You've been listening to focus on the upstate with Chris Evans if you would like more information on today's topic email Chris. C Evans