To the Editor:
I have recently become interested in a relatively new ministry. It opened officially Jan. 1. The name is “The Next Step Resource Center” and it is located at 216-B Leeville Pike in Lebanon.
It is a wonderful place and is so geared to helping people in our community who have fallen on hard times and need a hand to get started again and regain their independence.
The telephone number is 615-547-9999, and the website isnextstepresource.org. The director is Julie Hadlock, and she is assisted by Jim Kirk and a growing number of volunteers. I became interested when an elder at College Hills Church of Christ talked to me about the many wonderful things that were happening there and thought I might be interested in going there to see if I could be of assistance.
I did go and introduce myself to Julie, and she said “come in, I have something you could help me with.” It was to outfit a woman who needed clothing for a special trip she was making. It was enjoyable, and I have told everyone I just went to introduce myself and Julie kept me busy for two days.
I have been back several times and am amazed to see the many wonderful things that are talking place there. It encompasses job seekers group workshops, resume training, computer classes, furniture and furnishings, “Bike To Work” program, career clothing and clothing for families, financial classes to assist people who might need to know how better to manage their income. There is a bulletin board with names of businesses with job openings.
I have seen several people who have gotten jobs; how excited they were, and they came back to thank the resource for the opportunity.
I was immediately put to work finding rental housing for people who were trying to find a place to live. I met a young family of four who relocated here, he has finished welding school; she is getting her GED, and I have met with them several times, and they are trying so hard to get started again and make a good home for their two wonderful children. They came to church last evening, and it was so good to see the people there who met them reaching out and making them welcome.
It is very gratifying to see how the many churches, Community Help Center, businesses, Salvation Army and many others that furnish food, rent money, furniture, clothes for women, men and children, come and work together for this very worthy cause.
Most of all, if you would like to help, call the number or reach us on our website.
I have told just about everyone I meet about this good work. I get quite animated when talking about this and they get excited and ask me how they can become involved. Of course, I am not shy about telling everyone about these good works.
There was a dinner last evening at the Next Step facility to introduce our board of directors to community leaders and tell everyone about the many great things that we are doing. We had testimonies from several of the people who have been helped by Next Step. They were very gracious and so thankful for this opportunity to help them to get a new start.
This outreach and subbing at Lebanon High School more than 100 days this year has been so good for me since the passing of Don and Don Jr. in the past two years. It has given me a new meaning and I enjoy getting up now and trying to make life easier for someone.
I still grieve, but I have so much to be thankful for and spend my time remembering the good life I had with Don for more than 52 years.
I still have the farm and so enjoy working it, and I have my children and grandchildren who join me in our remembering the great life we had together.