Colorado woman organizes outreach to restore ‘sense of self’ for community members
When Bobby Sue Schrum walked through the doors at Morgan Church of the Nazarene, she finally felt loved and cared for. Now, she’s working with the church to extend that same feeling to those in need in Fort Morgan, Colorado.
Bobby Sue’s children became involved with the church more than three years ago thanks to a pinewood derby the church hosted, but Bobby Sue and her husband felt unable to attend church or fit in due to their bad habits. Bobby Sue’s husband used meth daily, and she had her own history with drugs.
Joel Garcia, a former pastor at the church, made it a point to get them into a Sunday service. Schrum said she had never felt wanted or loved until she walked in the church doors that first Sunday.
“People genuinely cared,” Schrum said. “They were asking about me, making sure I was comfortable. Even today, they’re really supportive and I’m realizing more and more people of the church are there for me. My home and my church are the only two places that I feel totally safe, comforted, and calm.”
That feeling of love and an increased sense of humanity that Schrum experienced have carried over into her first year of organizing the church’s “Sharing is Caring” event. Last year, organizers traveled around the city, picked up the homeless, and took them back to the church for a hot meal and a chance to choose from items that members of the church had donated, including clothing, blankets, and shoes.
After a good turnout last year, Schrum took to the airwaves, promoting the event through the local paper and radio station. Three times as many people showed up to the second event, and the church even opened it up to the community beyond the homeless.
This year’s event included even more resources. One church member who works in the county’s Department of Human Services brought forms in both Spanish and English offering applications for food stamps, the Low-income Energy Assistance Program, medical applications, and even a change of information for social security. The church also had a licensed nurse practitioner on-site to help take care of those with medical needs as well.
“I wanted to make it a one-stop-shop for those in need,” Schrum said. “If they needed payer, we were happy to pray with them. I wanted them to leave with a better sense of self than what they came in with.”
Schrum and Morgan Church of the Nazarene are hoping to make the event bi-annual by offering a summer event to address a different set of climate issues. Schrum also wants to start a recovery program at the church.
“I can help people there,” Schrum said. “I know if my story can help someone else, the more power to it.”