As frigid temperatures reach single digits, and wind chills feeling below zero, individuals lacking the proper housing face dangerous exposure to the elements. Warming centers and homeless shelters can often reach capacity quickly during this time of year, so Hope Valley Church decided to open their Fellowship Center to those in need.
Located at 2149 Dominion Dr. in Christiansburg, just five minutes from the Uptown Mall on Peppers Ferry Road, the church’s fellowship center offers a spacious and warm community area with a television, ping-pong table, kitchen, and restrooms.
Upon hearing of the idea to open the church’s doors as a warming center, many members of the church and community jumped to action with donations of pillows, cots, blankets, air mattresses, pots of soup, water, coffee, orange juice, and desserts. One Virginia Tech student wanted to help out as well and dropped off handmade scarves and hats to donate to anyone in need.
Leadership Team Member of Hope Valley Church Frank Sowers said that members came up with the idea to open the fellowship hall just one day prior, while they were thinking about the frigid temperatures and the needs of the community.
“We’ve been texting the church and putting it on Facebook and people responded. We’re stunned; I’m still getting text messages now saying, ‘what do you need?’,” Sowers said. “So, the church really stepped up and folks outside the church have stepped up.”
Hope Valley Church is continuing to look for ways to share their warming center efforts with the community and spread the word to those in need. They have shared their information on social media but have also reached out to other area shelters in case they might reach capacity and need another place to send people. Volunteers have also stepped forward to offer transportation for people to the Hope Valley Church as well.