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W.Va. rescue mission to honor leader

November 12, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission plans to hold a dedication ceremony in honor of the homeless outreach organization's longtime superintendent.

The Nov. 18 ceremony is part of annual open house activities, organizers announced.

The rescue mission's board of directors will dedicate and name a new facility to be constructed in the coming year in honor of Pastor William Crowe.

"The homeless and the hungry are easily forgotten in our society because so many of us live in prosperous neighborhoods where we don't see the problems," Crowe said in a press release.

"We must be reminded that there are many in our community that need help. The mission works daily to provide that help, but we can't do it alone. We depend on a caring, supportive community."

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The rescue mission plans to break ground on the new building in 2007, board member Terry Lindsay said.

The dedication and open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is being held in conjunction with National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, which runs today through Nov. 18.

Events at the open house include informal tours of the mission facilities and operations, a small silent auction of sports memorabilia and other items, and a bake sale conducted by the mission's women's auxiliary at the Martinsburg Kmart.

"This open house event is an opportunity for folks in the Eastern Panhandle to take action," said Earl Stout, mission board president. "We encourage everyone to come out."

Stout encouraged the community to take the opportunity to donate old clothing, canned goods such as coffee and vegetables, and other items.

Such donations will support the rescue mission's efforts to help families in need, and men who live at the 602 W. King St. facility.

The rescue mission also accepts newspapers and cardboard for recycling.

"It's an opportunity to give financial support to the homeless shelter project, too," Stout said. "We still need to raise over $1.5 million to build the building. Any amount you can give is appreciated."

The rescue mission houses about 40 men long term, and offers nightly beds and meals to an additional 20 to 30 transient men. Last year, the rescue mission served 60,277 meals to the hungry, officials said.

The rescue mission provides assistance to families, who can get vouchers at the organization's thrift store. Free meals also are served at the rescue mission, officials said.

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