BUCYRUS — An organization that has been assisting Bucyrus residents since 2015 is expanding to offer services to all Crawford County residents.
BORN (Bucyrus Outreach and Restoration Network) is the brainchild of the Bucyrus Ministerial Association. Mary Platt, who applied for and received the organization’s non-profit 501-C status, came up with the name.
“About six months after the group was formed, I began volunteering and later was hired to be the director of BORN,” said executive director Eliza Cole.
She said the group provides financial help, networking, spiritual mentoring and educational assistance.
“We believe in giving people a hand-up, not a hand-out,” Cole said.
She added thay people coming to BORN will be assessed to determine the barriers are that led them to need help in the first place.
“For instance, if someone is homeless and it is because they do not have a job, we require them to sign-up with Crawford Works to assist them in securing employment,” Cole said. “If someone needs help with a utility bill this month, we do not want them to need help again next month. It’s our goal to assist them in removing those obstacles and issues that got them to this point.”
Each client will benefit from one-on-one interaction with caring volunteers.
Cole said BORN works closely with local law enforcement to secure housing for people that have become homeless.
“We are averaging about 100 to 110 people per year that we assist with housing due to homelessness,” Cole said.
The group is funded through donations.
“We are a Christian non-profit organization and do not receive government funding,” Cole said. “Churches that are members of BORN pledge a certain amount of money each month and now that we are county-wide, new members are signing on to help.”
The larger goal of BORN is to one day open a Hope Center.
“Our county is in need of a large shelter that can house men, women and children,” Cole said. “When the recent tornadoes occurred in Crawford County, we had several families without homes and the Red Cross could only provide shelter for about two weeks. As a county, we are not prepared to handle a disaster like that.”
Cole said BORN is working with county and city officials to open a shelter.
People who need assistance, should call and make an appointment at the BORN Paetznick Center, 222 E. Rensselaer St., Bucyrus. The phone number is 419-557-4550.
For more information about BORN, visit twww.bucyrusborn.com/home, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bucyrusborn, or call 419-557-4550. The office is open from 9 a.m. to noon Monday and Friday and 1-5 p.m. Wednesday.
“We use the building rent-free,” Cole said. “It is the former parsonage of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, which is one of BORN’s members. It was named in honor of Rev. Pat Paetznick of St. Paul’s.”
Cole is excited about an upcoming event BORN is sponsoring.
“We are hosting a Women’s Conference that will equip women to live out their calling by creating tools and resources for the local church and the women they serve,” she saide.
The conference is Feb. 9 from 6-9 p.m. and Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and some scholarships are available.
“We will not turn any woman away,” Cole said.
For more information about the event, visit www.facebook.com/events/122856021763428.