One of my goals while raising our children is to help them understand that there are a lot of people less fortunate than our family and that we always need to look for opportunities to help others.
Early one Sunday morning in October 2004, my wife and I took our 3 children to serve breakfast at the Church for All People in downtown Columbus, Ohio. We served and talked with people who live in the area as well as those who were homeless. For many, this was going to be their only hot meal of the day. We then stayed for the church service where we heard several people asking for prayers for their family and friends who lacked basic healthcare, shelter, food and jobs. While listening to the stories an idea popped into my head, “What if I took the rental property I was rehabbing that was a few blocks from the church and hired local individuals to work on the property. Then, once the work was completed I could donate the use of the property to the church for a transformational housing ministry.”
I had no idea if a project like this would be feasible but I was willing to explore it. After a few discussions with the pastors we set out to build “The Lighthouse Mission.” Initially we created jobs for those that had not been recently employed providing them with an income and raised self-esteem. Once we had a nicely renovated duplex we were able to begin providing transitional housing and a transformational ministry for families and individuals that could rebuild their lives with some short-term support. I was proud of this project and looked forward to seeing how it could impact the people that stayed there over time. Little did I know how my small actions were later going to give birth to an entirely new enterprise for that church community.
After working on the Lighthouse Mission project the church was able to begin a housing program through their Community Development for All People (CD4AP) non-profit organization (www.4allpeople.org) Since that time, CD4APhas grown to over $11,000,000 of annual property work. They have partnered with many organizations including Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the City of Columbus and Habitat for Humanity.
Looking back I could never have imagined how my small actions could have exponentially expanded for a cause I care deeply about.
My desire is to help clients who have their own passions make a difference in the lives of people and charities that are closest to their heart.