The Lowe’s Home Improvement stores in Jonesborough and Johnson City are joining forces this week to refurbish the dining room at The Melting Pot in a joint Lowe’s Heroes project for the community.
By teaming up and pooling the $1,200 each Lowe’s store is allotted annually to invest in a nonprofit service project in their area, the stores hope their work at The Melting Pot will impact twice as many people as they could have by working independently.
“This one has the potential to help anybody and everybody during unfortunate times,” Ernie Goodreau, assistant manager of the Johnson City store, said of the soup kitchen in downtown Johnson City. It is operated jointly by Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church and Good Samaritan Ministries with help from about 25 other area churches.
Heather Lawson, community relations manager for the Johnson City store, said the project includes new paint for the dinning room, new portable cabinets for its beverage service area and larger cabinets to store toiletries, diapers, coats and gloves and other warm gear and daily living essentials The Melting Pot keeps on hand for its homeless clients and others in need.
A crew of about eight employees from the Johnson City store applied the paint Tuesday and a team from the Jonesborough store will be back today to put the cabinets in place.
“This is going to look good,” Doug Miller, Munsey’s facilities director, said as new milk chocolate tones began to cover The Melting Pot’s former spring green walls. “It’s good to see the folks from Lowe’s out in the community and it’s good to live in a community where businesses care and people care. It would take two hands to point to all the people who help with this and it takes that. Without it, places like The Melting Pot could not do as well as they do.”
Patty Muse, who oversees several different ministries that work at The Melting Pot, said the kitchen is open to anyone in need seven days a week. Weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon, the Our Daily Bread program coordinated by Good Samaritan Ministries provides a light breakfast of pastries, cereal, milk and coffee and hot lunches that are prepared and served by volunteers from 25 different churches in the area.
Beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturdays, volunteers from Munsey serve The Shepherd’s Breakfast, featuring sausage and eggs and biscuits and gravy. On Sunday mornings, Munsey provides a light breakfast at 10:30 followed by an open door worship service at 11. Crowds average between 100 to 120 diners for weekday lunches and Saturday morning breakfasts and about 60 people attend on Sundays.
Lawson said each year Lowe’s stores are allowed to choose a local organization to reach out and help with any needs they may have and attempt to select a project that will allow them to make the greatest impact. Goodreau said Chris Meadows, manager of the Jonesborough Lowe’s who attends Munsey and was familiar with The Melting Pot ministry, suggested the project.
Muse and Miller said Munsey is thrilled with the work and materials Lowe’s is donating.
“It’s a great gift,” Miller said.