Central Appalachia has been described as the “poverty pocket of America,”making the work challenging for those who serve in the region.
- 37 of the 100 poorest counties in the USA
- Areas where 45% of the population live in extreme poverty
- Many children go without adequate food, medical care, bedding and clothing.
In addition to limited resources, our churches and ministry centers deal with other related issues—abuse, drugs, illiteracy, heath needs, substandard housing, food, clothing, transportation, worldview and a whole list of other issues. Whether a Bible study group or a children’s event, the above challenges confront those who minister in central Appalachia.
Year-round ministry centers across eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia and West Virginia face real challenges as they work to provide food, hygiene items and basic household items such as toiletries, detergents and cleaning supplies. Other needs include school supplies and new mom packs.
You and every member of your church can get involved in Acts 1:8 missions without leaving home by providing:
Food boxes or funds to purchase food
Children’s weekend food backpacks
Coats and shoes
Socks and new underwear
New mom packs
How can we get started?
Work with your pastor, women’s ministry director, men’s ministry director or youth director to decide which need you feel God is leading your church to meet. Contact Appalachian Regional Ministry, and we will give you the contact information of a ministry center that needs assistance.
Then place a list of the needed supplies in your church bulletin. Set a date for the collection of the materials. Allow 3 or 4 weeks for people to purchase the supplies. Ask each family, Sunday School class or missions organization to put together a package or food box. Encourage individuals from the church to take a weekend and personally deliver the materials/supplies.
Also, be sure to check out the individual project requests from Appalachian and Mississippi River-area ministries for hands-on opportunities to serve.