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Outreach Ministries offers help in winter; Operation Blessing deadline today

Time is running out for residents to register for Operation Blessing, an annual event organized by Brookhaven Outreach Ministries to give blankets, food and supplies to hundreds of families who need assistance to prepare for winter.

The deadline is today to complete eligibility forms for the program. Those who need the assistance should visit 101 East Court St. to register, though BOM Director Jerry Durr said they may extend the deadline a day for those in emergency situations. Eligibility for the event is based on household income.

“Just about everybody qualifies that’s in need,” Durr said. “We don’t try to turn anyone down, but they do have to come by and get the tickets.”

This marks the 30th year for Operation Blessing, which was first organized in 1986.

“We’re trying to get our community ready for winter and providing these items to people in need in our community,” Durr said.

Operation Blessing is one of three events held through the ministry’s three busiest months. They also hold Operation Thanksgiving in November and Operation Christmas in December — though Durr said people are only eligible to register for one of the three events.

“We do three separate large events and try to meet the needs of several hundred people in the community,” Durr said. “We try to get help those that fall through the cracks.”

Staring Nov. 3, Outreach Ministries will also be giving out food every Thursday from 1-3 p.m. to families in need.

The Outreach Ministries food pantry is nothing new — they’ve been operating it from the beginning, and typically serve up to 400 families a month — but the ministry is currently in a state of transition. The organization is preparing to sell its warehouse at 101 East Court St. and will soon be moving to a new location on West Court Street.

The food pantry will continue to operate at the East Court Street location until repairs can be completed on the new building on West Court Street, he said.

Outreach Ministries accepts donations of money, food and supplies. They can no longer accepting furniture donations, he said. Outreach Ministries can be reached at 601-833-1350.