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Take a behind-the-scenes look at rescue mission

November 17, 2006

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission will hold its second annual open house Saturday, Nov. 18, in recognition of National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, which concludes Saturday, Nov. 18.

On Nov. 18, the mission will open its doors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to welcome all in the community who would like to see the behind-the-scenes work of the mission. The event will begin with a dedication ceremony on the mission's vacant lot, where a new shelter building will be built. The mission's board of directors will dedicate the new facility by naming it the "William C. Crowe Building" in honor of Pastor Crowe, whose many years of service have done much to advance the Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission. The mission plans to break ground on the new building in 2007.

Other events throughout the day will 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. The public is invited to bring old clothes. Newspapers and cardboard will be collected for recycling. Other items sought include furniture items and canned goods, like coffee and vegetables. Bring paper towels and toilet paper. All these donations will be used to help families in our area and the men who live at the mission. It's an opportunity to give financial support to the homeless shelter project too. The shelter still needs to raise more than $1.5 million to build the building; any amount is appreciated.

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The mission houses nearly 40 men long term and offers nightly beds and meals to an additional 20 to 30 transient men. Last year the mission served 60,277 meals to the hungry. The mission helps families too. Needy households can get free purchase vouchers at the mission's thrift store and anyone can get a free, nourishing meal at the mission just by walking through its doors. The mission receives no government funding, so its continued existence depends upon the goodwill and compassion of the community.

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