SEATTLE — “Our goal is simple – we help people”. That’s how Joodi Archer, Development and Media Coordinator for Matthew 25: Ministries, describes the organization. Matthew 25: Ministries collects donations in Cincinnati, Ohio before packaging and shipping them around the world to those in need.
Matthew 25: Ministries was founded by Reverend Wendell Mettey, who is now the president of the organization. He, along with a group of doctors and nurses, visited Nicaragua in 1990 and was deeply moved after seeing the poverty and devastation in the country. Nicaragua had just come out of the Sandinista period, which was characterized by guerrilla warfare, inflation and civil war.
After Reverend Mettey returned to the United States, he created a system which involved recovering excess goods from U.S. corporations and redistributing them to those in need. The goods were initially packaged in suitcases and flown to Nicaragua in Air Force cargo planes. Now, the organization has expanded greatly.
Donating, Packaging and Shipping
Matthew 25: Ministries now ships their supplies via 40-foot containers and semi trucks. In 2017, the organization shipped more than 900 truckloads of supplies and helped more than 23 million people in the United States and around the globe. They now accept monetary donations and product donations of “misprinted, slightly damaged, overstocked or gently used supplies” both from corporations and individuals. In addition to these donations, Matthew 25: Ministries also manufactures its own products such as school supplies and rice-soy meals that are also packaged and shipped.
The work of sorting, packaging, and shipping these goods is done with the help of volunteers. In 2016, over 66,000 people worked in the 168,000 square foot Cincinnati facility to prepare the goods to be sent away. Matthew 25: Ministries has also expanded where these supplies are sent. In 2016, the organization provided supplies to over 60 countries around the world, including the United States.
Matthew 25: Ministries has undertaken multiple projects to address issues pertaining to global poverty and disaster relief. The Grow Right Micronutrient Supplement Program specifically works to enhance the nutritional health of children. Their “Write Your Future” program also targets children by providing notebooks and other supplies to support their education.
The organization’s “Building a New Life” program helps with the construction of houses and sustainable communities in the countries of Nicaragua and Haiti. One of the more unique projects is the Global Village experience. This allows people to experience the effects of disasters and poverty as well as the living conditions the people who live in these areas face every day.
These are just a few of the many ways in which Matthew 25: Ministries works to better the lives of people around the globe. Archer states, “Matthew 25 is a place where individuals, groups, organizations and corporations can reach out and help in the way that works best for them”. In 2018, the organization will have shipped over 10,000 containers of aid and they continue to receive recognition for their work. Organizations like Matthew 25: Ministries will only continue to better the lives of citizens worldwide with the continued help of donors and volunteers.
– Megan Burtis