UPDATE: Thanks to Yahweh and a major donor, I am pleased to report that we now have the funds necessary to meet our goal of purchasing the building!
GoFundMe will still allow you to donate toward our efforts, beyond the state goal, if you would like to help us with expenses involved in making food purchases, some minor changes to the building, furniture and lighting needs for the downstairs, and the necessary legal expenses for forming a 501c(3) non-profit.
For all of you that have donated and prayed for this effort, we want to express our sincere thanks!
We can hardly wait to see Yahweh's hand continuing to move to glorify Himself, to reach those who hunger physically and spiritually. And we look forward to using this opportunity to share His amazing grace...and His amazing, amazing love!
HERE IS OUR STORY:
Douglas County, Missouri is a high poverty area, but has no local soup kitchen to provide meals to the poor in our community.
With a poverty rate of 22% (compared to 14.7% national average), and very high utility expenses in the county seat of Ava, we see a tremendous need for this kind of resource in the community.
Of particular concern to us are the children. 27% of children living in Douglas county are considered to have food insecurity compared to a state average of 15%. (Source: Missouri KIDSCount). That's nearly one out of three! 35% of Douglas County children are living in poverty.
It is likely many children have food insecurities due to a major issue with methamphetimine use in the community, and the child neglect that often comes with that.
So our goals are to help feed the families and individuals who are truly in need, and provide faith-based counseling resources for those who are wanting to be free of addictions and permanently change their lives for the better.
Being in a rural area, it can be more difficult to obtain financial resources to keep a soup kitchen operation going. For this reason, we thought it would be good to have some kind of non-profit business running to help support the soup kitchen.
As we discussed this together, one of us thought a coffee shop would be an ideal business as the kitchen facilities could be used for both the coffee shop and the soup kitchen.
As we began to look for buildings in the area, it just so happened that a coffee shop was for sale in downtown Ava!
We immediately contacted the owners of the business, and they informed us that the business and building together were for sale at the price of $139,000. But after finding out what we had planned to do with the building, they offered us both the business, all the equipment, and the building for only $85,000. They even offered to train us how to operate the business as part of the deal!
As we examined the financials, we believe that if we were able to obtain the funding for the building, the business would be able to financially support the soup kitchen, especially after the word gets out in our community that proceeds would go to charity.
The building itself was recently renovated, with all new electrical, HVAC, and is in great condition. It has a conference room in the back, which would be perfect for weekly bible studies or other community activities. There is also a studio apartment in the very back, which could be used to house volunteers. There is a full 1700 square foot basement underneath the building with open access to the outside (the back part of the building has the basement at ground level as the building is on a hill). This is where we would house the dining facilities for those who are in need.
We also have a number of volunteers who have expressed commitment to work in shifts and help support the soup kitchen and coffee shop. We are very excited to see this need being met in our community.
We don't believe it is good to start off being $85,000 in debt, as this would be a drain on being able to help others. So we are, in faith, wanting to see if others will be moved to contribute toward our efforts.
If we are not able to raise enough funds to make the purchase, we are willing to refund those who have contributed.
Are you willing to partner with us? Let us know if you have any questions!
P.S. Amazingly, within hours after I created this GoFundMe, I came across a news article from CNN which speaks to this very problem with childhood hunger, and it even highlights southern Missouri ! Coincidence? Check it out!
P.S.S. You can also donate by mail by sending a check or money order to:
Treasures of Yahweh
(Soup Kitchen Fund)
PO Box 1255
Ava, MO 65608
- Vincent Lopez
- Michael & Jerolee Cales
- Aleksandr Bangiyev
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more