June 4, 2015

Minutes of the Rotary Meeting
June 4, 2015
By Tommy Fulton
Invocation, Song and Pledge
Ken Robinson called the meeting to order. Tom Martenstein led the song, accompanied by Bill Oppenheimer on the piano. Allen Ladd gave the invocation.
Tommy Fulton encouraged members to continue to give to the CART Project for Alzheimer’s.
Program: Matt Armbruster, Founder of Ransom Ministries, Inc. was introduced by Bill Watts.
Mr. Armbruster founded Ransom Ministries, not so much as a homeless ministry, but more of a “people” ministry. Their mission is to “Provide participants with support services to overcome barriers to employment, helping them move out of dependency and into personal responsibility and self-reliance.” At this point, Ransom is located in six communities in the Mobile/Baldwin area.
One of the more intriguing ventures Armbruster described is the “Clean Machine.” This vehicle is equipped with showers, washers and dryers. This is a first step to helping job seekers, and others, have access to facilities many of us take for granted. This is especially advantageous in their homeless outreach efforts.
In addition to providing meals to their ministry, they teach many of the youth how to prepare healthy meals. In too many cases, this is the only exposure they have had in recognizing cost-effective alternatives to fast foods.
During 2014, Ransom Cafes have served 22,000 meals, washed 548 loads of laundry, given 453 showers, 143 haircuts, utilized 150 youth services and distributed more than 2,000 pounds of fresh produce.
One of the more exciting new programs Armbruster mentioned was the new “food truck” Ransom will be using to access even more needy communities. They will also be occupying a 6,000 square foot building in Chickasaw. A new program is to kick-off in August of this year, which will feature a four-fold approach to helping underemployed or unemployed ReProgram, ReBuild, RePair and ReStore their lives.