In continuing its 45-year commitment to serving the community, local non-profit Area Relief Ministries recently expanded its board membership appointing seven new volunteer members with diverse professional experiences that will broaden ARM’s volunteer base and outreach in the area.
The new board members are Billy Haynes, Managing Director of Haynes Barker Investment Management, LLC, Marvin Freeman, owner Freeman Enterprises; Frank Waters, President and CEO of the Waters Firm; Terry Perry, owner of Terry’s Home Improvement and Repairs; Bettye Hunter, library assistant at Lane College; Rev. Sky McCracken, senior pastor First United Methodist Church and Tajuana Cheshier-Reed, copywriter at Bramblett Group, Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. The new additions will bring the total board membership up to 30 people. Board president Dr. Martha Robinson said the new board members already have a track record of service in the community and make great additions to ARM’s board. “Our mission is to find people with a servant’s heart, ideas and a willingness to roll up their sleeves to help others and to continue the work that was started 40 years ago to aid the homeless and provide them with the skills to live an independent life,” Robinson said.
ARM is currently looking for organizations, clubs or groups to assist with Room in the Inn, which helps homeless citizens have a safe place to sleep overnight.
“We’re taking all that we can, usually somewhere between 15 and 20 people per night,” ARM Executive Director Mike Roby said. “Fortunately, we haven’t had to turn anyone away yet. But not everyone wants to come to Room in the Inn, so we give them what we can — whether it’s a bigger coat, scarf, blanket or sleeping bag or tent.”
ARM hosts two main events each year, the Salt & Light Banquet held in the fall which features an inspirational keynote speaker and Hub City Classic, a three-day regional high school basketball tournament, held in December.
In its 45th year of service, ARM serves the community through various programs including The Open Arm, Fresh Start, Turning Point and Room in the Inn, which partners with local congregations to provide homeless men with a safe place to sleep and a meal during the winter months.
Overall ARM has provided more than 4,000 beds and 10,000 meals per year. The Fresh Start program provides transitional employment and job history to homeless men, Turning Point provides housing for homeless men with disabilities and The Open Arm provides a day center and resources to help the homeless receive medical, housing assistance and other necessities.
To make a donation to Area Relief Ministries at www.areareliefministries.org or make checks payable to ARM, 108 S. Church St., Jackson, TN. 38301.