This outreach started from such humble beginnings... out of the heart of a man named Mark Blankenship and some of his church friends. He wanted to find a way to reach out to his community and so he went out with his friends and out of the back of a pickup truck, lugged his charcoal grill, some hot dogs, some drinks and a few cans of foods and started up first on Route 302, Causeway Marina's boat storage parking lot and then the team of few found a spot in the Naples Village Green park in Naples. In the fall of 2008 we approached the Naples town hall to see if we could use their building to get out of the cold winds and coming storms of winter. We started with a few loaves of donated bread, some produce, and a few cans of food. We had about 12 to 15 or so people who would show up and it was a great blessing to those who truly needed it.
Since CWCO started officially as a non-profit in February 2009, a lot has happened in our community and a lot of that is due to a lot of love and faithfulness, prayers, volunteering, and financial support of this ministry. Last year the Lord multiplied the fish and loaves mightily. It is because of His great provision that we have been able to continue to serve our 5 area towns of Naples, Sebago, Harrison, Bridgton and Casco every other Monday, year-round. Rain, sleet or snow!!!
We are currently provided with monthly donations of food which now averages to over 15000 pounds each and every month. Since our inceptions we have been able to serve over 400 local families and help them with their most basic needs. It has been a privilege and a joy.
Each and every time we open our doors there are approximately 80 to 100 or so families that receive food boxes filled with meat, bread, fresh produce, and other staples for their families. At present we have approximately 40 or so volunteers that now help in Kyrie’s Kitchen, with food distribution, setting up and cleaning up on food distribution days, the registration of new families, onsite blood pressure screening, planting and teaching in our community gardens, and helping us with picking up and transporting both perishable and non-perishables to our outreach site.
During the holidays we are also able to help us to honor some of our local military families and people in great need with some Christmas cheer delivered to their door, making their season a little brighter. We love our veterans and that is just one way we show them our appreciation during the year.
CW has ongoing working relationships with local businesses, but not limited to, Weston’s Farm, Hannaford, and Shaw’s of North Windham, along with state and federal agencies such as United Way, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Bridgton Rotary Club, LR school district, Naples town hall, Greater Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, and we are now actively a partner of Maine VOAD, or Maine Volunteers Organizations Assisting in Disaster. These are just a few of our partnerships. Our working together is crucial to making a difference in our community.
None of this would have ever been possible, without the first step of one courageous man who decided to step out in faith to be a light to his community. He started simply with a few cans of food, a few loaves of bread, a few faithful friends, and a bbq grill on the back of his truck! And from this blossomed a beautiful blessing to our community. Thank you Mark B. for being the vision and having the courage to birth this ministry which is now in its 10th year, Crosswalk Community Outreach. Thank you all for those who support us in prayer, in time, in talent and financially!