The 22,000-square-foot building, located on the property of the Church of God Family Worship Center in Beckley, offers a tremendous opportunity for our community to reach out to those in need.

The Dream Center regularly provides hot meals and a distribution of food and household supplies. What began as the Fishes and Loaves ministry in 1994 has expanded its scope to provide education, computer training, a clothing center, free dental and eye care and a variety of other services.

The Rev. Mark Schrade, pastor of the church that sponsors The Dream Center, said the $1.1 million complex fulfills a two-fold effort to meet immediate and long-term needs.

“When you feed and clothe people, you make them dependent upon you. When you provide education and training, you help them become independent and fulfill their dreams.”

He’s right.

Planners of the Dream Center have given a lot of forethought to the practical ways to help people become independent.

A cosmetology center in which people can get haircuts and hairstyling will enable them to have more confidence when they go out for job interviews.

A soup kitchen that will operate on days when Carpenter’s Corner is closed will meet the needs of many people who fall through the cracks.

The staff has developed a good system for identifying the needs of those who come to the Dream Center for help. Classes on money management are on the agenda for helping people learn how to manage the money they have.

The Dream Center is a place where anyone who wants to be part of changing lives can be involved. People from other churches, civic groups and organizations can pool their money and efforts with those of the Dream Center staff and quadruple its outreach to those in need.

The church has already provided the vision, the building, the structure and a concrete multi-faceted plan of action. It only makes good sense for the community to get on board and provide ongoing support, both in terms of monetary donations and volunteer help from a centralized location.

We welcome the Dream Center to Beckley, and we applaud its visionaries for coming up with practical, purposeful ways to help other people make their dreams come true.

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