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Otterbein Towers Magazine: Pickerill’s generosity leads to community center

Otterbein Towers Magazine: Pickerill’s kindness leads to community center


Editor’s Note: This story can be found in the latest edition of Otterbein Towers Magazine. Read more stories from Towers online.

By Kim Schomburg Nagorski ‘89

Shortly after moving to Washington Court House in 2009, Craig and Amanda Slager Pickerill ‘90, along with leaders of their new church, recognized a need for a community center to serve county residents. According to Amanda, the goal was to help those experiencing hardship and to provide a place for people to come together and volunteer in their community. The search for a location proved difficult--until the Pickerills learned that an old kindergarten building was for sale. It was not an easy decision, but because of their strong faith in God and in the mission for the community center, they purchased it themselves. They transferred the property to the Well, a nondenominational ministry/center started by the couple’s church and 31 others.

“The churches needed a place to do mission work locally, and it would transform our community,” Craig said.

Since opening in September 2009 with a Free Store coordinated by Amanda, the Well and its offerings have grown tremendously. A kitchen allows the organization to provide free meals to community members, including children in the summer program. Last summer alone, nearly 100 children were provided free lunch every day, and backpacks filled with food were sent home with kids each weekend. At the start of this school year, 300 backpacks with supplies were donated to area students.

The Well is also partnering with Kids Hope USA, a program that pairs local churches with schools, and equips volunteers to work one-on-one with at-risk kids. The Pickerills are hopeful about this new program, as well as the other work the Well has done for the community over the past 8 years.

“In Washington Court House, the unemployment rate is high and the fallout of that is evident,” notes Amanda. “We have a lot of hurting citizens in our town--young and old. The Well’s services help provide some relief to those in need. And for volunteers, it provides a tangible way to make a positive difference.”

Craig agreed.

“The Well has allowed us to practice missionary work in our own community. And through that service, our volunteers are improving their discipleship and growing in their faith.”

 

Read more stories about kindness in the latest edition of Otterbein Towers Magazine, available online now.