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Cedar County serves many at the warming station from January 12 to January 21


Cedar County opened an overnight warming station from January 12 to January 21 when temperatures dropped below twenty degrees. Approximately 25 people enjoyed a hot meal each night, and about a dozen people would stay until morning.

One hundred twenty-five volunteers served at the warming station during different shifts, many representing different organizations or churches from the community. Volunteers helped supervise, provided support, brought food, and kept things clean. They also worked to keep showers available and ready for those needing access.

Rita Bettis and her husband Tony volunteered because they love the ElDo community. They try to volunteer as often as possible because they feel it's the right thing.

"You never know when something will affect your life or someone you know. Not everyone needing help is just lazy or has addiction issues," revealed Bettis.

She addressed that the Warming Center is not just for people experiencing homelessness. Some may need help because they suffered a setback while ill, they may've experienced job loss, had a limited income, or lost someone who provided a majority of the finances.

"We enjoyed it so much knowing we could meet new people, listen to their stories, and see the smiles and true appreciation from them. I was amazed at the outpouring of our community members willing to help with food and time. Believe me, every person who used the warming center for any reason was beyond grateful, and it was so worth it. The feeling you get knowing you can make a difference in just one person's life and even offer a little bit of God is a blessing," said Bettis.

Another resident of ElDo, Becca Trussell, revealed, "It was such an inspiration to see how the community and churches gave their time, resources, food...so willingly and with such a cheerful heart. Truly the body of Christ working together."

The Hope Center released a statement that said, "Thank you so much to all of the wonderful volunteers who stepped up to help with the Emergency Warming Shelter….We had over 100 amazing people who gave food, hats, gloves, blankets, and their valuable time to support this much-needed service to our community. Amidst all of the difficulties we are currently facing, it truly was a beautiful thing to witness."

When weather prompts the warming station to open, it can be found at The Liston Center in El Dorado Springs, Mo.

For more information, follow the Hope Center or El Dorado Springs Family Chat Facebook pages, email info@wcmcaa.org, or visit the West Central website at www.wcmcaa.org.