AS CHARLOTTE HOOPER attended regular services at The Father’s Refuge Church, she saw more than hymnals and church bulletins; she saw children and families in need. Wanting to help, she and her husband agreed to pray for doors to open to make it possible. The collection of monetary donations to fund the program was the answer. The couple’s first mission utilized the monies to assist families with necessities such as utilities, medication, and everyday living expenses.
Later, they recognized a great need for warm clothing. The Hoopers began to pray for God to open doors for their next steps. Again, God answered.
It wasn’t long until donations of clothing and household items poured in. A tractor-trailer loaded with donations arrived from an Indiana Sunday school class that supported the couple’s mission twice a year. Hooper’s helping mission grew with the church’s assistance and generosity from the Lincoln County community. The Old Time Christian Outreach Center became the realization of a dream soaked in prayer. The church assisted with locating a portable building and offered its property for the center’s location.
“It just became a family thing to help everybody in our Lincoln County community. It doesn’t matter if they’re in Lincoln County or not. We’ll help them. My calling is just to help somebody,” Hooper said.
Her other strong supporter has been Peggy Mitchell. Mitchell shares a love for the less fortunate and has provided Hooper with advice and support from the earliest days of the ministry. Mitchell’s health prevents her from working as often at the center, but her influence and prayers are always present.
Rather than focus on all the negative things in life, Hooper looks for places to make a difference. She passes on donations of coats and blankets to the homeless. Victims of abuse have benefited from the center’s work, as have individuals recently released from jail or prison. Hooper sees that persons who’ve lost their homes to fire or other disasters receive needed items. She’s delivered donations of women’s pajamas and sweatsuits, and men’s shirts to nursing homes and other skilled care facilities. She’s seen the impact of donations large and small.
Hooper said, “I had a dream day where we took 200 pairs of jeans to the high school for girls that were homeless or in foster care.”
A single 14 x 40 building houses the donations where Hooper works to organize and distribute the items. She’d love to share more oversized items like furniture but presently lacks the space for it. A donation of such a storage building would be another answer to prayers.
Hooper and her husband, Lamar, worked together in the center until he passed away last December. She misses his help and never turns away pop-up volunteers. Her work there has kept Hooper going, following her husband’s death. “It’s really brought me through a lot of this,” she said. GN