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 organizer, 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 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.
Sheree has worked with Join Hands since May 2013. 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. Sheree graduated from Lock Haven University in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Counseling from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Joshua first served at Join Hands back in the summer of 2016 as part of his internship from Lancaster Bible College, and ever since then he has enjoyed helping out with serving the people there and helping out in a variety of ways. In the past he has been in a volunteer youth worker in three different youth ministries (in and outside the church) and has also been a volunteer at his local Christian bookstore located in Sunbury, PA. Joshua recently graduated with his B.A. in Youth and Young Adults from Lancaster Bible College in June 2018 and currently resides in Sunbury, PA on his own and from September 2018 he has worked part-time at Join Hands as the assistant to the director.