By Deacon Mary Delancey
When there is a rise in unemployment, the working poor and those without adequate job skills are often the most vulnerable. Short-term emergency relief of food and financial assistance will be needed during the next few months, but many people will also need longer term assistance as life becomes more uncertain for them. We want to be able to help without adding a sense of powerlessness to their already stressed lives. For over 10 years, one local organization has provided help without fostering dependency for some of Ocala’s most vulnerable residents.
Wear Gloves Inc. is a non-profit “dedicated to helping those in need earn what they need.” Wear Gloves staff meet with clients to set specific goals to address immediate and long-term needs. Wear Gloves pays for what they need to meet their goals, and clients work to earn what Wear Gloves pays or purchases for them. If someone needs a $500 deposit on an apartment, they would work for 50 hours to earn money for the deposit; or the client might work 3 hours to earn enough for $30 boots needed for construction work. This maintains the client’s inherent dignity as a child of God.
With a mission is to serve, teach and advocate, Wear Gloves operates the Dignity Center where clients work in various jobs from litter removal to small assembly and manufacturing projects. Their Dignity Roasters branch roasts coffee beans and ships their coffee around the country. Also, Church in the Garden is a worship service led by a congregation that might not feel comfortable coming into a church building. As Wear Gloves says, they facilitate environments where they can better love those people God puts in their path.
You can be part of their work in several ways. Become a Dignity Partner with monthly support or a one-time donation. Or sign up for a subscription of Dignity Roasters coffee (which I, as a subscriber from their first day, highly recommend!).
Perhaps you would like to join with others at Grace and provide food and friends for the congregation when Church in the Garden resumes and break bread with fellow believers. If you have a few hours in the coming months, consider serving at the Dignity Center and work alongside clients, or at Dignity Roasters helping to roast, package and ship coffee. If you want to know more visit their website, or contact me at email@example.com.