Cincinnati is a city that cares, and we have a wealth of local nonprofits to prove it. As our city has faced an unprecedented global pandemic, the community’s needs have been greater than ever. Luckily, Matthew 25: Ministries is here to help.
Matthew 25: Ministries is a big player in the Cincinnati community, and it’s no surprise the nonprofit responded to COVID: 19 in a big way. They distributed desperately-needed emergency supplies to first responders, police and fire departments, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other organizations that serve high-risk groups, including the sick, the elderly, and the impoverished. As part of their initial response, Matthew 25 provided more than 60,000 pounds of supplies to some 200 organizations.
In addition to offering crisis-specific assistance, Matthew 25 is an all-around all-star, providing food, clothing, shelter and medical services to those in need. Cincinnati Parent spoke with Matthew 25: Ministries development and media director Joodi Archer about how this organization has become the nonprofit MVP it is today.
How did Matthew 25: Ministries begin?
Matthew 25: Ministries began as the result of a trip Founder Reverend Wendell Mettey made with a group of doctors and nurses to Nicaragua in 1990. Pastor Mettey’s years as an inner-city social worker and pastor had done little to prepare him for what he experienced in Nicaragua during his visit — the poverty and devastation was endless. Upon leaving, Pastor Mettey made a promise to himself that he would find a way to help. His experience in material handling enabled him to develop an efficient system to rescue and reuse food, clothing, personal care, cleaning, medical and educational supplies.
Over the years, Matthew 25’s distribution activities have grown to include partners in Greater Cincinnati, as well as partners throughout the United States and around the world. Since 1991, Matthew 25: Ministries has grown from a small group of dedicated individuals carrying supplies in suitcases to an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization distributing over 13,000,000 pounds of products and helping more than 18,000,000 people each year locally, nationally and internationally.
Matthew 25 has stepped up in a big way in response to COVID-19. Tell us about that.
As a disaster response organization, Matthew 25: Ministries is always planning and preparing to respond in the most effective manner during times of humanitarian crisis. As a product-based organization, Matthew 25 is in a unique position to either have or have access to critically needed emergency supplies. Since the pandemic began affecting the U.S., Matthew 25’s staff has been working diligently to get these products out to hospitals, first responders, fire departments, police departments, nursing homes, schools and healthcare facilities that serve high-risk groups.
Matthew 25 is continuing to purchase bulk quantities of crucial supplies, and also making face shields to protect our healthcare workers. In addition, Matthew 25: Ministries has implemented a mobile feeding program to serve lunch to staff at local hospitals. Matthew 25 will continue working with our local, state and national partners to provide hope and help during this unprecedented time.
What kind of volunteer opportunities are available for families?
Due to COVID-19, Matthew 25 has suspended volunteer hours at its facility. Once we are able to accept volunteers, individuals, families and groups of all ages, levels of health, physical and mental capabilities can volunteer at Matthew 25: Ministries. Matthew 25 has stations for children, families and volunteers with special needs. Volunteers can work seated, or at stations with simple, repetitive tasks that are ideal for individuals with physical or mental challenges. Matthew 25’s goal is to provide an opportunity for people of all faiths, ethnicities and abilities to come together and help those in need.
Looking ahead, what does the future hold for Matthew 25: Ministries?
Matthew 25: Ministries’ goals remain consistent with our mission and vision: the formation of additional local, national and international partnerships; the acquisition and more efficient processing of more in-kind product donations; the shipping of more containers of goods; and the ultimate goal of all our programming — helping more people.