By Shirley Shuman
In the building formerly housing the Red Rooster restaurant on Elk Street in Gassaway, the Shiloh Outreach has been operating a mission of help to all who need it for the past four years. Pastor Eric Veltre of Shiloh Fellowship Church and his wife Cristi along with several volunteers strive to help those who need aid in various ways.
Cristi Veltre explained how Shiloh Outreach came to inhabit its current venue. “We were having a yard sale for the church inside the building, and Richie [Roach] came up to me and said what we were doing was good for the community and that it was needed.” She added, “He invited the church to stay with no rent. It truly has been a blessing.”
The first year it was open, the outreach took donated money and provided Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Pastor Veltre explained that they served 900 meals that first year. The first year, the dinners were dine-in, but once Covid came, things changed.
In addition to the meals, the outreach began helping people who needed various kinds of help. That still do that. “Every penny we collect from donations or sales within the building goes to help. We help pay rent and utilities, we pay for gasoline for those who have families in the hospital or who need a way to get to a doctor. We also provide food for those who can’t buy it, and we have a food pantry containing non-perishable food in the building. Anyone who wants to can come in and take whatever food they want,” Kristi Veltre explained.
The most visible aspect of Shiloh Outreach is within the building itself. An array of donated items are displayed in the front section of the structure. These include many basics such as clothing for children and adults, cookware, tableware, bed lines, towels, and many other items such as beautiful glassware and some pottery. One policy of the outreach is to give each individual looking for suitable clothing a bag. For each full bag, the individual is asked to donate only one dollar.
Another service which the outreach provides is a backpack program to provide necessary items for children who are unexpectedly put in foster care. “Sometimes, children are sent to foster care from school, and they have nothing but the clothing on their backs,” Veltre explained. The outreach program fills backpacks with clothing, personal and hygiene items and takes them to the DHHR to give to these children. They also send clothing to children in the Philippines.
Another service which this mission provides is termed The Journey of Hope and Restoration. A counseling program, meetings are held every Monday night at the Rock Wall in Gassaway. Dinner is served at 5:30, and class runs from 6-8 p.m. For further information, contact Pastor Eric Veltre at 304-689-0065 or Cherie Jenkins at 304-365-8757.