One Mission Cambridge in Cambridge has a heart for service all year round. As we enter into the holiday season, however, the organization is focusing on its volunteers who are at the heart of its mission – showing the love of Jesus to every client who visits its location at 614 Race Street. The range of services offered by One Mission Cambridge are diverse and include food items, counseling, and connection to resources such as health care, financial assistance, and jobs.
“I was looking for places to volunteer when I retired. One Mission Cambridge just seemed like a natural fit for me. I love people and I love doing things for people. That’s why I became a teacher because I enjoy helping in that respect,” states volunteer Joanne Rue of Cambridge, a member of Grace United Methodist Church and a retired teacher.
“While I teach the Bible studies and I was involved in small group activities at church, that’s giving to people who are more familiar to me. I wanted to reach out and do something to meet a greater need. The community needed a central place for resources. The joy of volunteering here, besides just helping, has been meeting people from other churches, other denominations who have a similar heart.”
Rue credits the safe, peaceful, and welcoming environment with helping build trust with the clients who come. She adds, “I see a lot of familiar faces, so our clients become like close acquaintances, so there’s a connection. Many people just stop in to touch base.”
Volunteer Vicki Hayden of Cambridge, also a member of Grace United Methodist Church, and a retired nurse, states, “We are asked to love God and love others – this is an avenue to do God’s work. I hope I am making them feel better. It’s very rewarding.”
“I feel like God blessed me that I can retire and do things like this. The people are so wonderful. It’s wonderful to be able to pray with them. Most all of them are receptive to that, but we’re not going to force anything on anyone.”
Clients mainly come to One Mission Cambridge for its food pantry, but there are occasional needs for connections to other resources.
“If they come in hungry, we can fix meals for our clients,” Hayden adds.
Volunteer Miala Harper, a new resident of Cambridge and previously of Harford County, who started in October and volunteers every other week, states that she saw One Mission Cambridge on Facebook and thought it was interesting what they do. She comments, “This gives back to people in need. I know what it’s like to have needs. My mom and dad occasionally needed help. So, I think it’s very important that everybody at some point in their life volunteers. This is a good way to give back. It gives you insight into how blessed you are.”
“People leave here happy. They have the security that they can get out of bed and have another meal waiting for them.”
“It’s needed here. Resources like food, mental health services, and housing are scarce. I am happy to see them being offered. I am also seeing the difference it makes. It’s good that One Mission Cambridge is in town and walkable for people. Most of the other food pantries in Cambridge are on the outskirts of town,” she adds.
“We are so fortunate to have such giving volunteers. We can’t thank our volunteers, financial supporters, and churches enough for helping to meet the needs of an average of 245 people a month and for keeping food on the pantry shelves,” states Krista Pettit, leader of One Mission Cambridge’s efforts.
Rue adds, “Most of the people are coming in for food, but every once in a while somebody will come in who needs a listening ear. It’s more than just handing them a bag.”
The organization is still in need of volunteers and volunteer training is available for a variety of shifts. To date, over 15 churches are now working with One Mission Cambridge. All Christian Churches are invited to participate. Individuals and organizations can support One Mission Cambridge through its Showing the Love Program for as little as $10 a month on the organization’s website onemissioncambridge.org.
One Mission Cambridge is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, from 1 to 6 p.m. and the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The next Community Dinner will be held on December 5 at its location at 614 Race Street in Cambridge. Visit One Mission Cambridge on Facebook at OneMissionCam or Instagram or their website at onemissioncambridge.org or call 410-901-3959. Donations can be made to One Mission Cambridge, P.O. Box 815, Cambridge, MD 21613.