Emergency fund assists community
For 20 years, the Baldwin Community Emergency Fund has assisted those who have needed help in the community.
Today, after 20 years of helping the community, nothing has changed. The Community Emergency Fund Board of Directors wants the Baldwin-area community to be aware assistance is still available.
Donna Reed, an emergency fund committee member, said CEF began when five local churches combined their efforts and started helping people financially, whether it be with utilities, medical expenses or food and gas expenses.
"We think every community needs something like that," she said.
Ava Cummings worked with CEF for many years, Reed said, but after her death last year, it became necessary to form a new committee.
Currently five churches -- First United Methodist Church, Annunciation Catholic Church, Ives Chapel United Methodist Church, Clearfield United Methodist Church and Worden United Methodist Church -- participate in the emergency fund.
"But it's not exclusive," Kim Heckathorne, emergency fund committee member, said. "We would love to have any other church involved."
Reed said CEF is funded through donations and contributions from individuals, churches, local organizations and clubs and a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The money, she said, is used for people located in the Baldwin School District that need financial assistance. She said the organization has helped people with utilities, food, medical expenses and even disasters.
"We had several fires here for awhile and we helped with those," she said.
Transients, she said, have also received some assistance with food or gas expenses.
Heckathorne said there are guidelines CEF must follow, but it tries to give assistance when it's needed.
"It's on a case-by-case basis," she said.
Reed said the committee is usually notified of those needing assistance by the nurses and social workers at the schools or by ministers, but those who need help can call the participating churches directly.
Those who would like to make a contribution to CEF can take the donation to Baldwin State Bank or any of the participating churches.
Pamphlets detailing CEF are available at Baldwin City Hall, the Baldwin City Police Department, the participating churches and on the local bank bulletin boards.