House of Helping

Our Father’s House Lends a Hand to Those in Need

Writer / Amy Lant-Wenger
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell

When strolling into the modest front entrance of Our Father’s House, a first-time visitor is likely to be awestruck by the spaciousness. During those initial glances, comparisons to the era of department stores might come to mind – so much variety and so many options, all within one building.Our Father’s House

Weaving their way through the racks and displays are staff members comprised totally of volunteers, all of whom move swiftly from one task to the next. Although this might seem like the typical rhythm of a brisk business day, this legendary place has anything but. Our Father’s House isn’t just another storefront on the commerce landscape.

It represents a most compelling mission.

Our Father’s House is an outreach program that provides clothing, bedding and other houseware items to folks and families who are experiencing economic hardships. There is also a food pantry, with an inventory of items that is refreshed daily.

Working tirelessly to keep the constant flow of momentum going is Director Roz Morgan. She is a whirlwind personality, chatting away as she spiffs up the store, inspects new donations and tends to various inquiries from members of her staff.

Morgan is affable and animated as she speaks. She is very excited about one of the organization’s latest partnerships, as she is confident the union will greatly enhance the reputation of Our Father’s House. The organization is planning to align forces with Sacred Heart and St. Vincent de Paul in an effort to offer local meal services through an auxiliary venture, Our Father’s Catering. There are plans to begin food-truck routes, some of which will be mapped out for stops at local businesses and factories during the course of the workday. This particular amenity helps to generate funds for the operation of Our Father’s House.

Reflecting on the past 27 years of giving back to the people of Warsaw, Morgan emphasizes the support from the area churches, and the generosity of those who donate and spend their time.

“This community of faith has nurtured and grown this place all these years,” Morgan says. “I would say that 99.9% of what we do is made possible by faith.”

Our Father’s HouseOne of the most important characteristics of what drives Our Father’s House to succeed is that anyone and everyone in need is valued and welcomed, regardless of their circumstances. “No one is ever turned away here,” Morgan says. Taking that pledge a step further, she adds that donations are always designed for various purposes, in one way or another. “If we come across something that we can’t use, we’ll send the items to third-world countries,” she says.

No donation is ever too small or too insignificant either. “Very little is ever wasted here,” Morgan says. “Even something like a can of soup can make a big difference.” With the holiday season not so far away, Morgan is hoping to coordinate care packages of ingredients and other items that will allow folks to share a holiday meal among a festive atmosphere. She’s envisioning collecting such items as cooking oil, sugar and flour, enclosed with recipes. She also wants to add special touches, keeping in mind what it takes to make a house smell good at Christmas time.

The COVID-19 outbreak and the fluctuating economy have both impacted Our Father’s House tremendously, Morgan says. “We’ve probably seen an uptick in customers by about 25 or 30%,” she says. Many have been thrust into unemployment as the restrictions loosened, as not everyone was given the opportunity to return to the workforce and jobs were restructured.

It’s a somewhat bittersweet scenario to consider. In a perfect world everyone would have all the comforts of home, and everything they could ever need. However, the team members who keep Our Father’s House going strong are keenly aware that there will likely always be those who live and make do without the essentials. Being able to lend a hand and a heart is something that makes Morgan very sentimental.

“How can you go wrong when a stranger walks in and says, ‘I can’t feed my family today?’” she says. “You put the face of Jesus on it, and whatever you do, you’ll never make a mistake. We are the family of man, and your dignity is my business. It’s about hope, it’s about faith and it’s about charity.”Our Father’s House

For more info, visit Our Father’s House on Facebook.

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