July 14, 2021
“For you have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in distress, a shelter from the storm...” Isaiah 25:4
Raising the Roof at the United Methodist Economic Ministry
Dan Dolan, President UMEM Board of Directors
Your faith, prayers, and donations in support of UMEM’s Stronger Together Capital Campaign recently brought fruit to the ministry in the form of a beautiful new roof on the Salem Maine thrift shop. This capital project was the ministries most urgent priority and the ministry’s staff are grateful to have this project checked off as complete.
At the start of the Stronger Together Campaign, in January of this year, UMEM identified the following priority projects: paying off the existing roof loan, installing a new roof over the Salem thrift shop, converting the Salem bunkhouse for four season living, and building designated storage/sorting buildings at our Salem and Howland locations. Just six months after launching the campaign in partnership with the United Methodist Foundation, I am pleased to report the top two priorities have been completed, and a third is being planned.
The new roof in Salem was completed in late June and will improve working conditions for staff as well as the shopping experience for our customers for years to come. In addition to the completion of the new roof, your Stronger Together donations also allowed the ministry to pay off an existing loan for the roof over the ministry’s food pantry and utility areas. Paying off this loan early has saved the ministry thousands of dollars in future interest payments that can now be used toward mission.
Next up for the ministry is planning and scheduling the Bunkhouse winterization project that will allow the ministry to better serve visiting mission teams and those in need of emergency shelter in the local community. A single ministry partner church has raised $21,120 to complete this project! This generous donation will soon allow UMEM to begin work on this Stronger Together project. Such a facility will truly represent a unique service in rural Western Maine where there are few, if any, emergency shelter options.
At present, the only unfunded capital project is building a dedicated storage and sorting facility for the thriving thrift shops in Salem and Howland Maine. With additional donations and commitments in the months ahead we will be able to meet all our campaign goals and build much needed storage and sorting facilities at the Salem and Howland ministry locations. Your generosity has enabled us to provide our neighbors with shelter from life’s storms for many tomorrows to come. For that, the UMEM Board of Directors, are truly grateful. On behalf of the staff, volunteers and the hundreds of families that will benefit from these projects we say -- “Thank You!”
For more information about the Stronger Together campaign, or to donate, visit https://www.umeconomicministry.com/