Center’s help goes a long way

NAPPANEE — In hard times, the Family Christian Development Center is there to lend a helping hand.
Established in 1996 and located at 151 S. Locke St., the center provides a food pantry, medication assistance, baby check-ups and necessities, clothing, rent and utility help and a resources program for the unemployed and underemployed.
“When a client walks in, I just ask them their story,” office manager Idella Chupp said. “I ask them where their needs are and we help them with whatever they might need.”
The food pantry is open 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and those in need can come twice a month — more if necessary — to shop from the center’s wide array of donated items.
“They just have to register, then they can grab a basket pick 15 or 20 things off the shelves,” Chupp said.
Retired registered nurse Meredyth Wolloman is dedicated to providing medicinal aid.
“She works with the pharmaceutical companies and does all the paperwork for clients for their prescriptions,” Chupp said. “In the last six months she gave $500,000 in prescriptions away. It is a lot of paperwork, but the pharmaceutical companies are amazing with their donations.”
The baby clinic, staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, is the second Wednesday of each month for those who don’t have health insurance or Medicare coverage. Vaccinations are given to children through age 2.
“It starts at 8:45 in the morning and they’re usually done by 3,” Chupp said. “It is a great program.”
Gently-used and new clothing is available during food pantry hours. Clothes for all seasons are there for selection.
“We have such wonderful donations,” Chupp said. “Back in the summer I had to put a sign up saying we couldn’t take any more summer clothes because we were getting so many. We can always use winter items, though.”
Rent and utility aid is currently limited, with one grant from Kosciusko County still available to pull from.
The center has a rewards system for parents. Parents can get vouchers when they take their children to local libraries, doctors and dentists. Accumulated vouchers can be exchanged for items like cribs, high chairs, clothes and more.
The center is gearing up for the holiday season. Turkeys and trimmings are available for Thanksgiving, and gifts, coats, blankets and more will be given out during the annual Christmas Jubilee.
“Over 600 kids got gifts last year, so we want people to know we’re here to help thanks to our great donors and volunteers,” Chupp said.
For more information on the Family Christian Development Center or to make a donation, call 574-773-2149.