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Ministry provides free home goods

POSTED: January 3, 2009 5:00 a.m.
BRANDEE THOMAS/The Times

James Weaver stands among the household items that are available for free to needy families at the Turn 2 Ministries warehouse.

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JEFFERSON — If you need beds for your children or a dining room table but don’t have the money to buy one, don’t worry.

There’s a warehouse on Ga. 60 where you can get the things you need to make your house a home for free.

What started out as a small operation out of the back of the Rev. James Weaver’s pickup truck has grown into the two-floor, Turn 2 Ministries warehouse.

Turn 2 Ministries is one of the ministries of the Living Word church in Jefferson.

"It all started with a phone call from my daughter, Charlene," Weaver said. "She called me and said there was a girl she was working with who was pregnant and didn’t have any furniture and was sleeping on the floor. She asked me if there was anything I could do to help and I told her I’d see what I can do."

While working to remodel a client’s home, Weaver happened to mention the situation of his daughter’s pregnant co-worker. The next day, his client had a gift for him.

"She told me to take this bed, and while I was at it to take this and to take that. By the time I left there, I ended up with a truck full of furniture," Weaver said.

After that day, Weaver became sort of a conduit between those in need and the people who had the needed materials.

Since the warehouse opened in June, Weaver says he has helped get more than 15,000 items to those in need.

Because people know that he is in the business of helping people, Weaver says he always is getting calls from individuals who want to donate items, which is how the ministry was able to get its current warehouse space.

"One Sunday, our pastor announced that we needed a warehouse for Turn 2," Weaver said. "Soon after he made that announcement, I got a call from one of our church members. She said she had this building and was planning to sell it, but that God told her to wait. She said, ‘I didn’t know what I was waiting for, but now I know. Come pick up the keys.’"

At the warehouse in Jackson County, those in need can walk through and take whatever it is they need.

"No money changes hands. They come in and pick what they need and that’s it," Weaver said. "We’re here for those people who are in need, but we don’t have any sort of income requirements. We don’t even check ID."

People who come to Turn 2 Ministries are likely to find a large variety of items for their homes, from dressers to knick-knacks.

"We take in a couple hundred items every month," Weaver said. "There was a man who called me to say he’d just remodeled his home and had two toilets that we didn’t want to throw away, so I went and picked them up. A week later a woman called to say that she had been evicted and someone was letting her stay in a home that needed some work, and she could make the repairs instead of paying rent. The only thing that was missing was a toilet."

Weaver says the mission statement for Turn 2 Ministries comes straight from the Bible.

"In Deuteronomy 15:11, it says that the poor will never cease out of the land, so it is our job to take care of them," Weaver said. "This ministry has been very blessed with volunteers and donations. And when you have been blessed, you aren’t supposed to soak them all up. Instead, you should let them flow through you to others."

Weaver’s daughter, Charlene Hardin, who lives in Hall County, helps to direct a lot of people in need to the warehouse.

"I love meeting people because you never know what you can learn from their life," she said. "I don’t eavesdrop, but if I hear someone saying they need something but don’t know how they can buy it, I give them my daddy’s card and tell them to call this man because he can help you," she said. "A lot of people are too embarrassed to ask for help, but who are we to judge them? It’s not our place to make someone feel like we are in judgment of them because of the situation that they are in."

Although Weaver says Turn 2 has been blessed so far, he says he would like to continue to grow the ministry. Besides a bigger building, community partners are also on his wish list.

"We would really like to get businesses and community members involved with Turn 2. It would be great if we could find someone to pledge so much money a month to help us keep everything going," Weaver said. "It would also be nice if we could find business partners to pledge so much service per year. For instance, I know a lot of single mothers who could go out and support their families if they had reliable transportation. So if we had a mechanic who pledged so many hours of labor to us, that would really allow us to help a lot of people."



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