Project Blessing Outreach
Project Blessing began as a simple idea to serve the noon meal to those in need at the St Paul Lutheran Parish Hall. The year was 1978, and in order to meet the needs of people in Dayton, the East Dayton Lutheran Community Ministry was established by Pastor Paul Kampfe of St Paul Lutheran and Pastor William Schmidt of Hope Lutheran.
An important part of that ministry was established on November 14th, 1979 – Project Blessing, This important program began as a co-sponsored noon meal program by the East Dayton Lutheran Community Ministry and the Van Buren United Methodist Community Center.
After two years of operation, Project Blessing had served 9,000 people. By the end of three years, the number had risen to 15,000. By this time, nine churches were regularly participating in preparing and serving the meals. Forty nine different churches had participated at least once in the program – coming from as far away as Anna and New Lexington, Ohio.
Additionally, the Clothing Room was added in 1983. Clothing is either sold at a minimal price or provided free to those referred by a recognized charitable program. The Clothing Room is stocked through the contributions from individuals, churches, and commercial businesses on a seasonal basis or when needs arise. This facility if available each Monday and Wednesday following the noon meal. St Paul volunteers keep the clothing stock in order, make necessary seasonal changes, and assist people who are seeking help.
Project Blessing exists entirely on volunteer efforts – people who are willing to give of their time and talent. The tasks of a volunteer fulfill many needs: the planners, the preparers, the dish washers, the doorkeeper, the servers, the stockers and the list goes on.
Today, the noon meals are still served every Monday and Wednesday. Over a quarter million meals have been served to those in need since that first November day in 1979
Volunteers from St. John’s provide the food (excluding the meat entrée), cooking and fill the plates and on Monday and Wednesday on rotation with the other supporting churches. These volunteers meet at the church at 9:00 am to load the cars with the food and to carpool to St Paul’s Lutheran Church. St. Paul’s is located at 239 Wayne Avenue in Dayton. The church parking lot is adjacent to the sanctuary.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is located at 239 Wayne Avenue.in Dayton. For more information on how to volunteer, contact Gail Braun at St. John’s or phone St. John’s Church Office at 937-866-3780 and secretary Diana will see that Gail contacts you.