Who are we?
ARM began in 1998 in Sumter County, AL. as a pilot project through the University of West Alabama Wesley Foundation (United Methodist Campus Ministry) and Auburn University. Founded by Lisa Pierce, there was a heart and desire for two things: to minister to families on limited and fixed incomes in the rural parts of the community and to create intentional missional and discipleship encounters between all those involved.
ARM first started hosting volunteer teams who served families by providing home repair such as repairing roofs, building wheelchair ramps, replacing flooring, etc. In 2001, we started a summer day camp called Sonshine Kids Day Camp. This was because we saw children in the community with very few opportunities for summer enrichment, growth, and nurture. Since then, ARM has grown to cover two areas in the state. In addition to Sumter County, we now also serve in Macon, Lee, Russell, and Chambers counties. Volunteers come from out of state and the local area around Auburn, Opelika and Tuskegee. These teams include students from both Tuskegee and Auburn Universities, local churches, and civic organizations.
ARM has grown into other areas of housing including renovating abandoned homes, working with veterans, and exploring new home builds. Since 2012, we have been renovating the old Tuskegee Methodist Church into a missions outreach center we call the Tuskegee Mission Hub. The day camp ministry expanded in 2012 by partnering with I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK) that hosts an after school tutoring ministry in Tuskegee. We continue to provide an avenue for volunteers and donors to make a difference in the lives of others.
The effects of poverty manifests in people’s homes who are our most vulnerable and subside on very low and fixed incomes. Many of these households consist of single, elderly women. ARM has two such households in the Opelika/Lee County area in desperate need of repairs to render their homes warm, safe, and dry.
1) The homeowner needs a partial roof. The front has been replaced and she needs the other half replaced. It currently has a tarp on it to keep out the rain. She is in her late 50’s, works full time, and takes care of her husband who is disabled from a back injury and unable to work.
2) The homeowner has been a minister but an illness that is still perplexing doctors took her out of the ministry and her source of income. Her home also has severe leaks, and the structure is so weak, it needs a pole barn style roof built over it. The Auburn University Building Science students are anticipating building this structure in partnership with ARM but need the funds for the materials.
In most of all the home repair ARM does, mission hearted volunteers are the main labor force.
These two projects represent over 70 on a call list waiting to be repaired. Several churches and groups are willing to help but many times the financial cost becomes prohibitive. In addition to the service, volunteers will be provided with leadership curriculum and data points that provide the service-learning context.