Today, Join Hands Ministry is supported by and partnered jointly with over 80 Perry County church entities, the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, 33 businesses, 22 civic groups, 6 foundations, hundreds of clients, and 187+ individuals.
Originally, many persons in Perry County sought help from the religious community with a myriad of needs. The faith community was being confronted by:
Therefore, the Perry County United Methodist Cluster accepted the challenge of responding to the needs in this rural community. Join Hands Ministry was formed by the Cluster to be a central point of contact and services with the purpose of making these needs known among the area churches, filling in the “gaps” for persons in need, and creating a standardization of qualifying true poverty needs while establishing lines of accountability for responsible management of funds and goods donated to the cause.
The Perry County Food Bank:
The Perry County Food Bank was started in 1992 by a local church in Duncannon to respond to hunger in rural Perry County. In 1996, the local Community Action Commission operated the Perry County Food Bank for three years. In 1999, the County of Perry assumed the operations and maintenance of the food bank. The Perry County Food Bank thrived under the management of the local government and sustained services. The Perry County Commissioners maintained their ongoing commitment to ensure this program continued, but actively researched local non-profits to eventually assume the management of the Perry County Food Bank. Join Hands was approached by the County of Perry to operate the food bank, which began on September 1, 2008.
Join Hands Ministry is a collaborative community outreach program providing direction, intervention and support to persons facing a variety of daily living challenges in Perry County. Referrals are accepted from all sources with no referral restrictions beyond Perry County residence. The mission of Join Hands Ministry is to serve as a contact and support center for persons living in Perry County who are seeking assistance with daily living concerns. Our team loves to provide these Services that include yet are not limited to:
Join Hands Ministry is a collaborative community outreach program providing direction, intervention and support to persons facing a variety of daily living challenges in Perry County. Since 2002, Join Hands has received funding from private foundations and has received awards from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
In 2018 Join Hand Ministry supporters and partners included, 208 Individuals & Families and,
17 Different Denominations / Church Supporters/Partners
(Financial & Donations)
Civic Supporters of JHM (Financial)
Business Supporters of JHM (Financial)
Church Partners of JHM (Donations)
Civic Partners of JHM (Donations)
Business Partners of JHM (Donations/Service Partners)
Since 2003, Michael has served Central Pennsylvania as a youth/student pastor, college lacrosse coach, event speaker and organizer through burnedbyGod, Drug & Alcohol Counselor while mentoring and training adults who work with youth.
He is originally from the eastern shore of Maryland. His wife Lauri Burns whose maiden name was Lauri Long grew up in Millerstown, Perry County. Michael and Lauri have two children, Addison and Thaddeus.
Michael graduated from High School in Maryland, received his Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America in 1998 and than graduated from Whittier College in Whittier, California with a B.A. in Psychology and Child Development. He too holds a Masters in Theology from Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia.
In addition to serving as the Executive Director at Join Hands Ministry, Michael co-vocationally serves as the senior pastor at Watts Wesleyan Church in Watts Township/Duncannon, PA.
Sheree has worked with Join Hands since May 2013. As the Assistant Director, she oversees Internal Programs. Prior to that, she was a stay-at-home mom busy with her church, the PTO, and volunteering at Newport Elementary School.
In her life before motherhood, she worked with children with behavioral problems for Keystone Family Services and Catholic Charities.
Sheree is a Juniata County original but moved to Perry County with her husband Steve in Oct. 1998. They reside with their 2 children, Taylor and Jimmy along with a beloved mutt, Daisy.
She is a life time member of Hope Eternal UMC in Newport, PA.
Brooke came onto staff in July 2020. As the Assistant to the Director, she oversees and coordinates External Programs, which includes our warehouse. She has served on the administrative board of Join Hands Ministry since 2016 and with Join Hands Ministry since 2013 collaborating efforts for a Christmas program called Christmas Treasures to help Perry County residents.
Brooke is a 2003 High School Graduate of West Perry High School and 2005 Graduate from Central Penn College. She started working in the private sector of Law after graduating and has spent the last 10 years working for Cumberland County. She was an employee with the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office for the last 5 years.
Join Hands was created to serve the needs of "our" Perry County neighbors. You are our greatest resource!
In addition to staff, in 2019 Join Hands Ministry operated with the guidance of more than 3,612 volunteer hours. These volunteers are a core asset to aiding staff operations, service activities, programs, building management, special projects and keeping overhead costs at a minimum.
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