(Debbie Dobbins) It was a fall day in 2012. I was at a day center for the homeless and saw a little boy running around. I asked who he belonged to and someone pointed out his mother. After visiting with the mother, Sharda, I found out that they had been living at a temporary shelter and each morning she and her son would go to the day center where they would eat, wash their clothes and Sharda would look for a job. After our visit, Sharda called Mary Ellen's Hearth at Nellie Burge and she was admitted to our center. She and her son have been living at Mary Ellen's Hearth for a year. (Each family is allowed to stay two years as long as they are working toward independence).

This past year has been a whirlwind of activity for Sharda and a year of learning. She has taken classes on financial literacy, parenting, nutrition and Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World. She is working and saving her money.

A new chapter in Sharda's life began in September of this year. Mary Ellen's Hearth began partnering with Montgomery Council on Aging and Sharda began using the commercial kitchen at Mary Ellen's Hearth to make 46 meals a day for Meals on Wheels. This is a paid position for her and she takes her job seriously. Up each morning at 5:00 AM, she ensures the elderly receive healthy and nutritious meals.

This is just one example of how the mission of Mary Ellen's Hearth - "providing hope, help and healing to homeless women and children through Christian love and support" - works. Each family that comes to Mary Ellen's Hearth is provided the support and opportunities to learn new skills, get a job and save their money. This enables them to not only learn to live self-sufficiently and provide for their children but also to be productive members of the community. For more information, contact Debbie Dobbins, Executive Director, at or 334-264-4108.


Mary Ellen's Hearth at Nellie Burge"is one of the nineteen"Conference Advance Ministries"in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. The Advance program was created to give churches and individuals the opportunity to go the extra mile in giving. 100% of each gift given through the Advance is used for its intended mission or ministry. Your gifts through the Advance fulfill both physical and spiritual needs to make a life-changing and long-lasting impact. For more information about giving through the Advance, visit"You can also make online donations at that link.

To see previous Mission Statements, click here.

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Montgomery, AL 36106
Phone: 334.356.8014
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