Tragedies and hardships can come at any time and families are faced with rebuilding their lives and are in need of caring, helping hands.
Sometimes children are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect and are put into foster care. In many cases the parents lost their homes and furnishings during the process. The juvenile courts require a completed rehabilitation program before children can be placed back into their homes. Parents must have a source of income and a clean, safe home properly furnished.
As CASAs (Court Appointed Special Advocates for children), Villagers Nick and Alice Hilt saw a need to collect used furniture to provide to these families at no charge. The Hilts launched Starting Over Ministries in September 2009.
“SOM is Bible-based from Matthew 19:14 and many other verses where Jesus clearly states our responsibility to children. The SOM vision statement is ‘Every child deserves a clean, safe, stable home environment,’” said Nick.
With donations received from friends and family, SOM helped 12 families furnish their homes within the first five months. Area churches, including Mountainside UMC, Piney Grove UMC and Lake Valley Community Church, became involved and this God-inspired ministry continued to grow. The ministry incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity in May 2011.
In spring 2011, Trademark Real Estate of Hot Springs held its first annual charity golf tournament to benefit SOM. The tournament raised much-needed funds to purchase twin beds; they don’t receive enough used children’s beds to supply the need. SOM was also in need of a cargo trailer to haul furnishings, rain or shine, and that need was met through the tournament fundraising.
A businessman in Hot Springs provided SOM with climate-controlled warehouse space, where donations can be sorted, cleaned, prepared for delivery and stored until needed.
In the eight years since founding SOM, this ministry has served 618 families, at no cost to the families. If you are replacing kitchen utensils, pots and pans, towels, blankets, sheets, etc., think about donating them to SOM. These items are much needed, as well as twin beds for children. All donations are tax deductible.
For more information on Starting Over Ministries Inc., contact Nick Hilt at Donation pickup can be arranged by calling Hilt at 501-622-0892. Monetary donations can be sent to Starting Over Ministries Inc., 4 Ligadura Lane, Hot Springs Village, AR 71909.