Faith Coalition started in 2011, after Joe & Greg met on a mission trip to Joplin, Mo, where they were cleaning up & repairing damage from the devastating tornado in that town. They were impressed by the spontaneous outpouring of support for people in need, & wondered what could be achieved if Christians organized and prepared throughout the year to address disasters like this one, AND to serve ongoing local needs in our communities. And so Faith Coalition was born.
Our first project was a house at 922 Grand Ave. in Edwardsville, which was donated to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Faith Coalition pledged to provide the manpower and funding to rehab the house so that it could be sold at (a greatly improved) market value, with all proceeds going to Habitat.
From 2011-2016, every Saturday morning, workers from local churches and civic groups came together to work on the house. We shared our knowledge, our vision, and our LUNCH, learning and growing as a group through the frustrations and triumphs of remodeling the 100-year-old house. When completed in 2016, the home was sold at market value and provided funding for three new builds for Habitat for Humanity partner families. (Faith Coalition continues to work closely with Habitat to make affordable housing and home ownership a reality in the Metro East.)
To meet the financial needs of rehabbing the Grand Street house, Restore Decor was started in 2013. Since then, it has raised and given away thousands of dollars to local nonprofits and families in need. By selling re-purposed/repainted furniture to raise money, we have appealed to shoppers, crafters and recyclers alike, with a message of rebirth and beauty. And, like the Grand Street house, Restore Decor has united people from different churches in a common focus of serving our community.
Thanksgiving basket collection
Beginning in 2017, Faith Coalition has organized the collection of funds to provide Thanksgiving baskets to clients of the Glen Ed pantry. This is chiefly done by requesting donations from our member churches; individual donations may also be mailed to Faith Coalition or made through our website. This
Community Service Projects
Our first Community Day of Service was in 2018. We brought together 67 volunteers from 9 churches, and we completed 18 projects for seniors and other in our community. We repeated this effort in 2019, and despite a steady drizzle, we completed 13 projects with 57 workers. From there---thanks to another rain-out and COVID in 2020---this event has morphed into an ongoing project. We do small home-repair projects and yard work for those in need of assistance to maintain their homes. We accept referrals from City/Village inspectors and our affiliated agencies, and we recruit volunteers from churches and other civic groups.
ECUSD7 Clothing Ministry
Beginning in 2020, Faith Coalition has established a fund to provide clothing to students in need in Edwardsville District. For years, students with individual needs have been informally assisted out of the personal contributions of principals, secretaries and other school workers. We know that our generous community would like to assist students in need, if we can identify them and respond in ways that respect the confidentiality of students and their families. This program works with school nurses and social workers to coordinate individual responses as needs present.