Helping Our Neighbors

 Helping Our Neighbors

Matthew 25: Ministries benefits those in need in Greater Cincinnati year roundEric Spangler While many know about the work Matthew 25: Ministries does to provide relief to victims of natural disasters in the U.S. and abroad, some may not realize the amount of work the nonprofit organization does to help those in need in the Greater Cincinnati area all year long.

Matthew 25: Ministries is an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization that provides food, clean water, clothing, affordable shelter, medical care and humanitarian supplies to those in need. 

Although media coverage of the organization’s efforts to provide relief to areas in the U.S. and abroad that are struck by hurricanes, tornadoes and floods ramps up as semitrailers full of supplies roll out of the facility on Kenwood Road in Blue Ash, its local efforts are much more personal, says Joodi Archer, the organization’s development and media director.

Many of the organizations that Matthew 25: Ministries works with in disaster zones are medium to large groups, she says. “Certainly they have warehousing in place and they have major distribution activities and they just have things that will allow them to accept and then distribute a significant of product at a time,” Archer says.

The local organizations that Matthew 25: Ministries works with are smaller—some with 30 clients a month who work out of a two-room office or staffed entirely by volunteers with little to no storage or distribution capabilities, she says. “So we can work with our local partners almost by the box,” Archer says.

Those local partners could be anybody, she says. “It could be definitely food pantries and shelters, social service agencies, just small local nonprofits of virtually any kind that you could think of,” Archer says. “They could be rehab facilities, they could be pregnancy centers, they could be anything.”

While products—such as food, blankets and coats—are some of the most common types of donations the organization provides to other organizations its programs and network of volunteers are also an important component of helping others, she says.

One of its programs allows people who are planning a mission trip to fill a suitcase with supplies they can take on their trip, Archer says. “That not only helps us to distribute supplies it helps them to better serve their mission,” she says.

The organization has plenty of volunteer opportunities as well, Archer says. Matthew 25: Ministries has a relationship with 20-30 local organizations that work with physically and mentally challenged youth and young adults that allows their clients to volunteer.

“We have a program in an area that’s set aside specifically for them to do work that not only benefits us but it also benefits them by helping them develop their fine motor skills and learn to follow directions and allows their caregivers to see how well they function in that kind of an environment,” she says.

So while the natural disaster relief efforts of Matthew 25: Ministries may garner the headlines much more is being done without the glare of TV lights in the Greater Cincinnati area, Archer says. “There’s so much that we do locally,” she says.