The History of FaithCentre
In October 2002, Doyle Klinger, Jr., Pastor of Faith United Methodist Church, and David Dimmick, the Church's Director of Community Relations, sat in a local restaurant considering outreach ministry for the Church. They watched as a young woman bought two cartons of cigarettes and left with her scantily clad daughter who was munching on a Twinkie® for breakfast. They knew of poverty and substance-abuse statistics and of homelessness. And they agreed: "we've got to do something about this." At that moment, FaithCentre, a faith-based community outreach center for the Bellefonte area, was born! After individual meetings with a host of community leaders, a gathering was held at which representatives of community groups and churches met to dream. Just seven months later, in June 2003 FAITHCENTRE's thrift shop opened in a small storefront in downtown Bellefonte. The next day several members of the Board of Directors agreed that it was simply too small. Immediately they began looking for another location. God answered.
In January 2004 FaithCentre moved to a new, 11,000+ square-foot facility on the square in Bellefonte. With the additional space, FAITHCENTRE was poised to help. God answered.
In July, 2004, the Bellefonte Academy, a 19th century prep school that housed 23 families in apartments, was destroyed by fire. FAITHCENTRE was asked to help. The Centre's servants stepped up: they received, sorted and distributed approximately two tons of boutique, food and household items; they received and distributed over $36,000 in assistance and, working with the local Red Cross, re-located the 23 families. Centre volunteers maintain an on-going relationship with the victims, continuing to help meet needs with such things as rent assistance, electricity and heat subsidies, insurance premiums, food, furniture and boutique vouchers and others.
About FaithCentreCommunity Partners - Working with other local agencies is a priority of FAITHCENTRE. We are proud to partner with the following organizations:
- Bellefonte Community Band
- Bellefonte Cluster of United Methodist Churches
- BPOE 1094
- Centre County Council of Human Services
- Centre County Heating / Rental Assistance Task Force
- Centre-PA Community Action
- Communities That Care Centre
- County Disaster Recovery Task Force
- The Community Safety Net
- Central PA Partnership For Health
- Leadership Centre County
- Marine Corps League
- Mid-State Literacy Council
- National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)
- Working Wardrobe, Community Action
Stephanie Cooper, President
David Dimmick, Vice President
(We have no Secretary)
Daryl Sinn, Treasurer
Services Offered by FaithCentre
Faith Centre provides a center for relaxing & camaraderie, emergency aid, food & diet counseling, and assistance for our military veterans. Our services currently include:
- Our Coffee Corner (see below), where you can meet friends, relax, or simply enjoy a fine cup of coffee
- We provide emergency aid (see below) for our neighbors suffering through unfortunate circumstances
At FaithCentre, we take our commitment to the community very personally. We do so because, first, as a Christian, faith-based outreach center, we view helping others as an important second commandment from Christ: "The most important commandment is to love the Lord, your God with all your heart, mind and soul. And the second is like it, love your neighbor as you would yourself." We do so, second, because we are intimately aware of the needs which confront our fellow citizens. Within the Bellefonte area, we see individuals as well as families who have no or very little food; we see those who cannot afford to buy fuel to heat their homes; we see persons whose homes are without water; we see single parents who worry about their child's welfare and we see other who simply are in need of a warm cup of coffee and hug.
The "Emergency Relief" Program at FaithCentre is built around assisting individuals and families with short-term, unexpected emergencies. We will be happy to entertain requests for assistance following an interview with our Client Services Representative.
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 10:00am - 1:00pm
Client Services Representative:
Named in honor of the philanthropy of community member, Mr. Bill Thomas, the Coffee Corner offers a welcoming atmosphere and hot and cold drinks and light snacks. The free drinks and pastries are available Monday through Friday from 10am - 3pm for anyone in need of refreshment, relaxation, or conversation. Each day over a dozen area residents gather at the coffee corner to share events of the day and catch up on news with their friends. The coffee corner at FaithCentre is staffed every weekday by a FaithCentre volunteer. Each Wednesday at 10:30am, a Bible study is conducted by volunteer Don Walters. All denominations are welcome to attend.