Caring and Sharing: Both churches continue to support the work of Caring and Sharing, with food donations, Board involvement and volunteer hours. This local food collection and distribution point is located in the City Hall building, just down the hall from the Police Department. Guests complete a registration form and show proof of local residence, then return to pick up food for their family. They are open on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30 - 2:45 pm for registration.
On-going needs are: canned protein, veggies other than peas and corn, canned fruit, and spices. Replacing the cake mixes and prepared frosting will allow them to make birthday parties possible for the clients, (the intent of the birthday bags from last year without the volume of storage those required). Lingle puts a special emphasis on food being donated on Communion Sundays (second Sunday of the month).
Backpacks for Children and Related Efforts: With school starting, children in Goshen County who received weekend backpacks of food last school year are in the process of signing up for the new year. Last spring there were nearly 400 backpacks distributed each week, through every school in the district.
But it takes time to get any program organized and renewed, so for the first few weeks of school there are no backpack distributions. Still, children learn better when they are nourished no less in the early weeks of the school year than any other time.
Using primarily funds from the Loren and Oletha Likins endowment, the Torrington church plans to provide high-protein snacks and cereals through Torrington Middle School and the Lingle schools. Grocery carts with these items will be at the exit doors each Friday until the backpacks are ready, available for whoever chooses to take something home.
We provide funds for the purchase of backpacks for families that move to the area during the school year, or whose circumstances change such that they need the added community support mid-year.
We also plan to provide high-protein snacks for the students in grades 3-8 at the time of state testing (PAWS). A hungry brain cannot show on a test just how great our teachers and students really are, and this is a small way to help bridge that gap.
Goshen County Paper Pantry at the United Methodist Church is open on Tuesday afternoons from 1-3. We occasionally collect items for this mission which distributes items not available through other sources locally (diapers, toilet paper, shampoo, laundry soap, etc. as may be available at any given time). They ask for ID and address confirmation but do not require proof of need. It is operated by donations and volunteers. For more information contact the church office at 532-2977.
Community Handbells: The WyoRing and Platte Valley Ringer groups (both under the direction of Joyce Willeke, 532-2595) store bells, music and tables in the Torrington building. Their scheduled practice times are on Wednesday evenings during the school year. The groups offer special music in worship on the third Sundays in Torrington. They also provide music for several community events throughout the year, and in some other churches upon invitation. The space is provided without charge to the groups.
Goshen HELP is a new outreach in our area. The mission of the organization is to invest in individuals and families and provide them the resources needed for them to live a healthy and fruitful life. The first priority is to address the housing needs of teens and young adults in Goshen County.
While there are many agencies and organizations that provide assistance in our county there is a gap that involves teens older than 17 and young adults. We also recognize that our end goal of having healthy teens and young adults would benefit from having healthy families raising children. To that end investing in families and others in our community will be a part of our long term plan.
WEE PALS PRESCHOOL has been located in the Torrington church since about 1986, with Molly Moorehouse here as Director since 2001. Recent seniors include some of her first 3-year-olds! Wee Pals was started at St. Joe's in 1981 by parents, then moved to the United Methodist Church Building (at a date unknown to us).
The tuition based program has the typical M-W-F class for older preschoolers and T-Th class for younger preschoolers (age 3 by September 15). Each class meets from 8:30 - noon). Extended care is available for an additional fee both before and after the scheduled times.
We relish the connection between the Preschool and the church, and appreciate the flexibility in room use when needed (such as for a funeral or the Presbyterian Women's rummage sales).