Handing Out Hope
The holidays are over and the season of giving has been another great success for organizations like The Lord’s Pantry at Anna’s House that work hard to help families in need, especially during the colder months. Volunteers come from near and far during the holidays to give their time to serve the less fortunate, but organizations like Anna’s House are hard at work all year long, 52 weeks per year, never taking a holiday or a weekend off.
The Lord’s Pantry at Anna’s House is a local food pantry and community center that has been serving an impoverished neighborhood on the near west side of Indianapolis for more than two decades, starting first as a sidewalk ministry. To understand our mission is to understand the great need to increase the amount of services we provide that encourage self-sufficiency. Without this type of approach, we are only feeding the cycle of poverty rather than handing out hope for a better future. The Lord’s Pantry at Anna’s House knows that to truly assist families in need we must provide more than a meal and supplemental groceries each week.
While we have made many great strides in our efforts since the days on the sidewalk in the cold months of January and February, today we are operating out of a 3,000 square foot building. From this facility we provide weekly and sometimes daily (freshly prepared) community dinners and breakfast for as many as 200 families. We also distribute groceries, including fresh produce, during our weekly food pantry. We provide English classes; distribute school supplies, backpacks and shoes, offer health screenings, flu shots and dental check-ups. Anna’s House is also an important place throughout the holiday season as we are often the only opportunity for families to gather for a nice Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner.
Providing these services to the constantly growing number of families each week in a facility of this size is extremely difficult, having to constantly set up, tear down, rearrange and negotiate space to be effective in our efforts. Therefore, we are currently in a campaign that will help build a new future for Anna’s House and the community we serve. But it’s more than square footage we are interested in. The guests of Anna’s House are also encouraged and in some cases required to participate in programs that include but are not limited to computer training, English classes, reading and writing, and financial literacy for adults. For children, these programs might include after school tutoring and mentoring, music classes and other activities that will help them grow into productive individuals. We need to have dedicated space to make this possible.
The good news is, The Lord’s Pantry at Anna’s House has been gifted a large plot of land on which to build a new facility, one that will enable us to provide additional programs to adults and children. We are also blessed to have been gifted any and all concrete labor involved in erecting a new building as well as some other gifted materials and labor. The not-so-good news is there is still MUCH MORE to be secured before the dream of a larger facility, to help a community need, can become a reality.
Anna’s House welcomes any and all who wish to shepherd in a new way of life for individuals and families in need. From significant volunteer opportunities every week at the Pantry to getting more involved in helping us raise critical funds and in-kind gifts, there is a place for you! You can learn more about these opportunities at AnnasHouseMSC.org or call the Director of Anna’s House (Julie Molloy) at 317.631.5504. Thank you.