GREAT FALLS INTERFAITH ASSOCIATION MINUTES JULY, 2017 5777
Great Falls Inter-Faith Association
July 27th, 2017
Pastor Ray Larson, Benefis Healthcare Stephen Boyd, GF Hebrew Association
Rick Allison, Big Sky Baptist Jim McCormick, Rescue Mission
Beth McKinney, GF Food Banks Leesha Ford, Toby’s House
Jodi Niemeier, Toby’s House Mike Whitney, Calvary Chapel
Kathy Schendel, Echoz Pregnancy Care Matt Firkel, GF Rescue Mission Thrift Store
Mark Davis, Foot of the Cross Christian Book Store
Focus: Great Falls Community Resources & Supporting Services
Pastor Ray opened with a reading from Romans and a prayer.
The following letter was inserted from our first presenter, Mark Davis.
The Foot of the Cross Christian Store.
A non-profit Christian retail store being developed to provide the necessary materials and gifts to enhance the walk of a believer and give understanding to those that are lost.
Fellow followers of Christ,
My name is Mark Davis and I have served as the general manager of the Family Christian Store in Great Falls up to its closing on April 15, 2017.
Before the final days of business, God placed it on my heart to develop another Christian store here in Great Falls which would benefit the community and the Christian charities of our city. To meet this goal, I have been working on gathering the necessary information to determine the initial cost of opening a store of this nature.
Preliminary figures have come in at a little over $189,000.00 and to build in a creditable allotment for increased cost during renovation and stocking, I feel a loan of $200,000.00 would be necessary. Even though I have over 42 years of retail experience, the banks would consider this as a startup project and require a 25% down payment. This means we would have to come up with an investment of $50,000.00 from those interested in seeing a new source of Christian products maintained locally.
The one thing that God made clear to me was that this was not to be for my benefit and all the net profits generated would need to be distributed fairly among those Christian charities in need here in Great Falls. To this end, I am hoping to develop a non-profit board of directors that would be responsible for accepting the applications and determining the appropriate amount of funding to be given to those charities who have applied.
I have already talked with an attorney and accounting firm that would be willing to assist in establishing our corporate structure and by laws.
So I guess the question you will all have is why am I touching base with you? The answer has many facets, but really comes down to three major areas.
1. I would like to get your input on not only what you would like to see carried in the store, but if you really feel as I do, that the need for a tangible source of Christian products is necessary to maintain here in the Great Falls community.
2. I would like to have several of you serve on the board of directors, so that a just and fair assessment can be made on who the funding developed by the store will go to and to make sure that those applying are truly using these funds for the Kingdom of God.
3. I would also ask that you might allow me to present this idea to your churches, so that we would be able to raise the necessary funds to make this store come to fruition.
If any of you have further questions, comments and/or ideas that you would like to pass by me, please feel free to contact me directly.
406-868-6832 cell firstname.lastname@example.org
PS: We have already created an online donation platform with gofundme.com/foot-of-the-cross if you need more information.
Thank You and be blessed,
Leesha Ford – Toby’s Crisis House Nursery – Huge Needs in Small Packages
Similar to facilities such as Jeremiah’s Place in Pittsburgh PA, Leesha is trying to open Toby’s Crisis House Nursery in Great Falls. It is a crisis nursery for children 0-6, it reduces the number of children being removed from homes and being placed in Foster Care. Montana is higher than most other states in cases of child abuse, double the amount of shaken baby syndrome per capita. In a community need assessment for a crisis nursery in 2016, only 6 of over 100 parents said they would not use a crisis nursery for anything from destressing to job interviews.
Crisis care would be available 356 days, 24 hours a day. They are hoping to open a temporary shelter in the next 6 months that could house around 6 children at a time, but eventually opening a larger center with 14-16 beds. The staff will consist of both paid employees and volunteers.
This is not a duplication of the children’s receiving home as it is more preventative versus reactive. i.e. children who have already been removed from a home. This nursery would provide help for families in crisis to hopefully avoid the abuse from ever occurring. Most cases when CPS has been called, parents are calling with providers to avoid a crisis situation.
“Mind the Gap” This is a gap in our community that this nursery is hoping to fill. They have many other services on their board of directors and are connected to many community partnerships.
What they are looking for right now is a temporary home, maybe a church basement, or an old Day Care center.
For more info, questions, or to help, visit https://tobyshousemt.org
Pastor Ray adjourned the meeting.
Contributed by Stephen Boyd