What is your agency’s mission and purpose?
The Milan Mustard Seed supports low-income families in Gibson County. We assist with utility, rent, and food. Our onsite feeding program will also continue until the pandemic is under control; we even have household items or clothing. We try to meet every need within reason.
What is your role there? What are your responsibilities?
My fancy title is the Executive Director, but that simply means I do almost everything here. A clerk answers our 24-hour emergency helpline, and we also have amazing volunteers. But other than that, it falls to me. I help oversee the thrift store, food pantry, and soup kitchen. We also have Glenda’s Kids, which is a way to provide food to students whose families are unable to feed them on the weekends. We currently care for 45 children in the Milan school system.
How long has Mustard Seeds partnered with United Way?
We have been here for 47 years, and because of our longstanding relationship with United Way, we continue to expand every day. I believe we have partnered with them for the majority of our 47 years.
How has partnering with United Way benefited your agency/community?
I always call United Way the “backbone of our existence.” The funding and grants we receive from United Way are the seed that helps us do anything and everything. We would not be where we are today without United Way. Specifically though, United Way helps tremendously to fund and cover all the operational fees of the thrift store, so that anything that we make is given back to the community.
What does this partnership look like?
This partnership has been so beneficial because people recognize United Way’s name. And when they see our name connected with United Way’s, the Mustard Seed receives more attention. Outside of the financial assistance, we also reach a greater number of people through United Way.
What would you say to any agency/organization who is thinking of partnering with United Way?
United Way is an excellent resource and they offer all kinds of information in addition to the funding they provide. They are constantly updating us on what is happening in the community and are continually offering seminars on how to better our organization. There is also networking! With United Way, we can connect with some of their other partner organizations for additional help. Together, we all have that commonality and common goal to serve others.