We Care hosting open house
By By Adrienne McKenzie
In just a few weeks the new headquarters of the We Care Program will host an open house and dedication for the people of Atmore to view what the organization does for prison ministry.
Don Metzler, vice president and business manager of We Care, said the new facility is almost complete for the viewing.
"We've been in this building less than a month," Metzler said. "We're still trying to wrap up a few of the finishing touches."
Metzler said We Care relocated from its old facility to its new building at 3493 Hwy. 21 because it was simply a good opportunity.
"The Poarch Creek Indians wanted to purchase the property we had so we saw this as an opportunity to relocate to a more private area," Metzler said.
The We Care Program is a non-profit organization that ministers to inmates that began in the 1970s.
"We Care was started by Martin Weber in the early '70s," Metzler said. "He had a vision to minister to inmates. We Care today has grown from that vision. A lot of people have given time and energy into taking Jesus into prisons. We Care provides chaplains to different state prisons. We pay the chaplains but to the state they are considered to be volunteers."
Metzler said there are several different prisons that do not have a chaplain and We Care's mission is to provide one for them. Atmore Work Center does not have a chaplain and We Care sends chaplain Ed Ranck to minister the center's inmates.
Most of We Care's business is in the state of Alabama, but the organization does have personnel in other states.
"We have chaplains mainly in Alabama, but we have several associates or employees in Ohio," Metzler said. "We also have one associate in Georgia, but most are in Alabama."
Metzler said a lot of the funding for We Care comes from the Economy Shop in Atmore.
"The economy store in town is a part of this ministry," he said. "It serves to generate funds for day-to-day operations. Anything that is donated to the store and is bought from the store helps to generate funds. We operate strictly off donations. That money helps to keep chaplains in the prisons."
Metzler said the We Care Program's staff is grateful for the new building that enables them to better organize their operation.
"We feel very blessed to be in this facility," he said. "We give thanks to the many hours of labor put in by generous volunteers. We are looking forward to using this facility to further the vision of We Care and to take the love of Christ to men and women behind bars."
The We Care Program's open house is July 29 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. and the dedication is July 29 at 3 p.m.