Our Brother’s Keeper is an outreach ministry sponsored by Trinity United Methodist Church in Charles City. The ministry helps people who have slipped through the cracks of our welfare system by providing for basic needs such as rental assistance, utility assistance, food, and gas vouchers for medical necessity.
Begun in the mid-1980s under the leadership of their pastor at the time, the Rev. Delbert Dawes, the program has increased at an unbelievable rate in the last few years. Last year 99 families were served, and by the end of August in 2013 they had helped 53 clients. They “met with a record number of people in July,” wrote Jeannine Mills, a member of the Our Brother’s Keeper committee.
The organization treats all of their clients with respect, compassion, and confidentiality. Many people in the area have low-paying jobs, and often their hours amount to only 24 hours a week. The poverty rate within a 3-mile radius of the church is at 13.8%, nearly double the average across the state of Iowa.
Our Brother’s Keeper is a supported in part through a Northeast District Matthew 25 grant from Iowa Conference apportionment contributions of local churches. “We try to treat everyone’s problems as Jesus would want us to.”