Agency Seeks to Meet Community's Needs

"Cash for Christmas", that's what officials at Wesley House say is at the top of their wish list.

"People are having to make choices as to whether they should get their medications or turn on their heat," said Ginger Grissom-Stevens,
executive director of Wesley House.
Wesley House

These are the type cases that Stevens said her agency is now facing. Although the willingness to help is there, she says all too often the cash is not, and that's why the agency needs donations now.

"People are sick. They are sick because they're cold," Stevens said.
"They're on the floor or in a car or they're living in dwellings that are really not suitable to live in."

According to statistics, one of the fastest growing groups in the country is the working poor, or people who are on low or fixed incomes. The Center on Hunger and Poverty says, on average over the last five years, more than 30 million Americans have not had enough food to eat. Of that number, about 14 percent were from low income households in Mississippi and 11 percent in Alabama. Wesley House serves both states.

Aside from this, Wesley House officials say while many low income residents are hungry, many more are just not healthy because of improper nutrition.

"Do you know how expensive it is to feed a family nourishing food? When you don't have a refrigerator, what do you eat? You eat candy bars and you drink pop and potato chips and that type of thing," said Stevens.

Because of this, Grissom says she wants locals to realize that giving is not just an option but a must.

"We don't know each other's name, but what happens to the child or elderly person on the other side of town has a direct reflection on us and how we take care of one another," Stevens said.

To donate to Wesley House, you may call the agency in Meridian at (601) 485-4736.

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