Carroll County native Ron Shaw was recently selected as the new president of the board of directors for the Westminster Rescue Mission, a local nonprofit that provides community assistance and residential recovery to those in need. A former board member, Shaw spoke with the Times about the Rescue Mission, the future of giving and the needs of the community.
Q: How did you first become involved with the Westminster Rescue Mission?
Through Reverend Steven Cochran, my former pastor at Hereford United Methodist Church, who was the executive director of the Mission at the time. Although I grew up in Carroll County, and one of my uncles lived on Lucabaugh Mill Road, I was previously not aware of the Mission or its work. Upon learning of the Mission's faith-based work serving needy and hurting people in the community, I was honored to be asked to join the Board.
Q: What is it about the Mission's goals that resonated with you?
A: As a Christian, I felt called to serve. The Mission's faith-based recovery program, offered at no cost, was particularly compelling. We all know people battling alcohol addiction, and the increasing wave of narcotics abuse seems to be particularly profound among our younger population. The Mission also distributes hundreds of thousands of pounds of food each year to people in need in the community. There are just many ways we serve so many of our neighbors.
Q: What goals do you have for the future of the Mission?
A: To improve our outreach to the community by making the Mission's work known far and wide. To increase our financial resources so we can serve even more members of the community.
Q: How will your role change as president of the Board?
A: I was humbled by my election as president. I will give my best to motivate and guide.
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Q: What challenges does the Mission face in the upcoming year?
A: We feel compelled to do even more to provide treatment to address the scourge of addiction. We are looking at the possibility of expanding our services to include women. And of course, we are always working to develop the financial resources to support and sustain our expanding work.
Q: What do you wish the community knew about what you do?
A: We provide people with hope. Hope is vital to recovering addicts and people who need help feeding their family. Please go to our website at westminsterrescuemission.org to learn more about us and how you too can serve the less fortunate.
Q: How has the move of the Mission Store been received?
A: Very well, thank you for asking. People love the Mission Store; it is another way we serve the community.
Q: Why was that a needed move?
A: It was part of our strategic plan, to consolidate our services at one location. Our hope is to improve and increase our sale of gently used items.
Q: What action can the community take to best help the mission?
A: So glad you asked. To spread the word of our good work. To encourage people who need help to call us. To support us financially, whether through donations or shopping at our Store. And of course, to hold us in your prayers.