WARRENSBURG - As a group of young mothers on limited income browsed Friday afternoon through racks of gently-used toddler clothing in a room at North Country Ministry's Warrensburg Outreach Center, a half-dozen volunteers sorted and hung up clothing, answered phones and conducted chores.
Just about one year ago today, North Country Ministries, based in Johnsburg, opened this satellite center to serve growing needs in northern Warren County.
During that debut year, the Ministry's Warrensburg Outreach Center has logged over 900 contacts per month.
It's a place where families can find clothing in all sizes for every family member, as well as find assistance in paying the rent or for medicines or a fuel bill. The Outreach staff also offers ideas in effective parenting and help in finding housing or a good job.
The center has about doubled the number of clients that North Country Ministry serves.
North Country Ministry Chairman Brother James Posluszny said the services that his agency provides are needed more than ever. Clients have come from over 20 different communities to seek help.
"It's the condition of the times in general, plus we opened the Warrensburg Outreach Center right when the economy was taking a big dive," he said this week.
Posluszny said his agency depends on a network of volunteers, as well as donors, to augment his talented core staff.
"Our caregivers are very experienced, whether they're giving tips on nurturing, sharing information or locating resources," he said. "Our leaders have years of experience as parents and professionals.
Friday, visitors to the center could get a glimpse of the myriad services the agency provides.
While a group of volunteers were cleaning and sorting clothes, Barbara Massey was answering a steady stream of phone calls to arrange for services. Busy on a computer, Danielle Sprague was composing a checklist for mothers with newborns, relating to health and safety tips.