Welcome to our first Sumner Center at NorthField update. Our goal is to provide our volunteers, generous donors, community partners and participants with timely updates on the status of our remodeling effort, program development updates and projected opening timeframe.
During the first quarter of 2021, The Sumner Center team has been busy preparing and finalizing all formal construction documents for The Sumner Center building (which is currently the NorthField gym building). Our lead architecture group (Building God’s Way) and general contractor (S&B Construction) partnered with our local civil engineering firm (GreenLid Designs) to complete these documents and submit to the City of Gallatin for approval. We have had strong collaboration with the City of Gallatin Codes Department, who generously donated the cost of our permit fees, and are working closely with the planning team so that all permits will be ready for start of formal remodeling in May 2021.
During this “construction document” phase, we have also been blessed by the leadership of our NorthField Director of Building Operations Greg Underwood, who along with Keith Lamb and several key volunteers have begun work on the lower level. They have readied several rooms for the permit-based trade contractors and enabled several bids to come in lower based on the impressive work they completed. Our goal is always to be great stewards of the funds donated to The Sumner Center in order to optimize the impact on people we will serve in our Sumner County community. We are also working closely with White House Utility district on completing cost-effective plans to transition The Sumner Center to sewer services.
At this early stage, it remains our goal to have the remodeled Sumner Center ready for grand opening in the Fall of 2021. However, we are already actively expanding several Sumner Center programs to begin forming strong relationships with the individuals and families we will serve in our area. Some examples include the expansion of our food box and food pantry ministries, our GiGi’s Playhouse partnership, our Stay Warm Shelter partnership with seven area churches and our Embraced special needs services. Several Sumner Center committees, such as the job skills program, financial budgeting services and mental health screening, are meeting to develop program elements. Other areas such as dental clinic teams, our Habitat build and bingo/special needs nights will begin in the May through August period.
We are so excited about the progress being made, and if you have any questions about the Sumner Center progress or would like to get plugged into any of the volunteer areas, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE SUMNER CENTER
Thanks to considerable in-house work led by Greg Underwood, our Director of Building Operations, as well as Keith Lamb and other skilled volunteers, much of the prep work has been finished! We are now moving into the phase of demolition and rebuilding. According to Bill Jacoby, “Led by the work of Greg and others,our goal is to optimize the impact of the gifts and donations to the Sumner Center going directly to people in need in this community.” The major construction work begins in May, and we look forward to occupying this space in the Fall of 2021.
THE SUMNER CENTER PROGRAMS
Even while the Sumner Center building is being remodeled, our programs are still being developed and utilized. These include mental health resources, family budgeting, job skills, Habitat for Humanity partnership, legal aid, dental clinic days and weekday food pantry. Each area is in a different stage of starting up, led by a NorthField member, and updates will be made available regularly.
DRIVE-THROUGH FOOD BOX GIVEAWAY
NorthField has a monthly, free food box drive-through for people in need, which is held on our campus. Beginning in May, we will take our food box drive-through into areas of Sumner County where the needs are the greatest. In addition to volunteer opportunities in packing the food boxes and being part of the distribution team on-site, there is the opportunity to serve in a prayer ministry as many of the community participants express the need for prayer.
This team is led by John and Jackie Pasquarella, who are very passionate about providing food to people in need. On Monday mornings, volunteers sort and box food from Second Harvest as well as donations from church members. The food pantry will be housed in the Sumner Center, with expanded capacity for fresh and frozen foods as well as shelf-stable. According to John and Jackie, “The only skill required to be part of the team is a sense of humor. We have fun!” Plans are in the works for other methods of food distribution including a mobile food pantry.
STAY WARM SHELTER
NorthField partnered with seven local churches and the Gallatin Fire Department to provide 750 hot meals and sack lunches for more than 100 unhoused individuals in Sumner County through the Stay Warm Shelter at First Baptist Winchester in Gallatin. Although this program is on hiatus during the warmer months, plans are being made to increase the frequency of providing meals, distribute nutritionally balanced food boxes that do not require cooking or refrigeration and partner with additional churches, city leadership and the Gallatin Fire Dept. to locate and develop a permanent location for unhoused individuals in Sumner County.
This program is an achievement center for those with Down Syndrome and is already serving 18 participants at the NorthField satellite location. However, at our location we have accepted students with any diagnosis, not just Downs Syndrome. There are classes on Tuesday nights in our NorthField kids' building for ages 4 to adult, plus in-person and virtual tutoring throughout the week. This summer we will be adding fitness classes to our program. Please spread the word about this exciting partnership as we have room for more participants and volunteers!
EMBRACED WORSHIP SERVICE
Sam and Marianne Alhadeff’s inspiration for this worship service came from their son Michael, age 46, who has autism. Currently meeting once a month in the student center, we provide a unique worship experience geared towards individual with a variety of needs.
People attending Embraced should feel welcome to bring comfort items, dress how they feel comfortable and move about freely throughout our time together.
As the services continue to grow in size, more volunteers will be needed. Volunteers who are willing to be consistent and let the participants get to know them are especially needed.
Families with members who have different needs are encouraged to attend, and our goal is to make them feel welcome, loved and accepted.