Arty’s Blessings: MissionLink April 28, 2016



Did you know that with everything Mission Central does, we even have a ministry for pet food?

“Arty’s Blessings” is the pet food distribution ministry providing dog and cat food in the event of a disaster.  We always think of people’s needs during these times, but our pets are important too.

Arty’s Blessings is named for Mission Central Education Coordinator, Ruth Ward’s, beloved dog, Arty (pictured here) and is also in honor of her late husband.

This is a co-op of 5 area food banks and churches, as well as Mission Central.  In the event of a disaster, everything comes to Mission Central for distribution to the appropriate areas.  When we are fortunate enough to have no disasters to deal with, the food goes back to local food banks for their client needs.

As of March 16, 2016, we have distributed almost 260,000 pounds of food across Pennsylvania and this ministry was only started in the Summer of 2015!!

The ways that assistance can be provided are endless.  If you have an idea perhaps you can put that into motion and help countless people, animals, organizations, etc.  When it comes to mission work, the sky’s the limit!


Arty is one of the many volunteers at Mission Central, helping in his own unique way and Rev. Ward was generous enough to share the following about this 4-legged bundle of energy, who volunteers with an open heart as often as he can.

Volunteers come from many different walks of life. They come through the doors of Mission Central and share their time and their gifts.   One of our weekly volunteers is named Nature’s Healing Art, Canine Good Citizen, better known as Arty. This Golden Retriever, still an energetic puppy at 2 ½ years old, is happy to greet anyone who comes by the cubby. He helps me on Wednesdays and other days I spend at Mission Central. Most of the people who come by the cubby know his name. Not all of them know mine.

He spends lots of time sleeping calmly at my feet, but quickly awakens to greet anyone needing a bit of pet therapy. Arty is in training to be a therapy dog and if he helps no one else but me it will be enough. Most of the people who come by the cubby know his name. Not all of them know mine. I’m not offended. He’s doing exactly what I hoped he would do ~ offer hope and unconditional love. His wagging tail could clear a table top and is a happy indicator of the joy he feels when greeted.

Recently, he came with me to the Harrisburg District event at Mission Central. It was a time when participants walked through the ware house, laid hands on different items stored here and prayed. Arty waited quietly in the cubby. When it was time for us to complete the prayer walk around the outside of the building, Arty was ready. The wind was blowing and the air was frigid. I was of a mind to move quickly, to pray in a general way and return to the warmth of the building. Arty had a different idea.   He took his time. I had the option to hurry him (not an easy task) or slow down and enjoy the crisp air and the time to walk and pray. Make no mistake. I was cold when I got back into the building, but I was exhilarated! What a rich time we spent praying for this space.

Arty made a new best friend that day. Bishop Neil Irons was waiting by the door when we returned and had a dog treat in his pocket. There was no mistaking Arty’s enthusiasm and delight in greeting the Bishop (and receiving the treat). This week, Bishop Irons came into the building. Arty had been resting and when he heard the familiar voice, he came to attention, tail moving like a helicopter propeller, and waited. When the Bishop had completed the business that brought him in, he came over to greet Arty. After Bishop Irons left, Arty laid down and issued the loudest sign I have ever heard from him.

Mission Central connects God’s resources with human need.   Most of the time those resources are “things”. I believe one of God’s resources is this sweet energetic four-legged creature who connects in ways we two-legged folks cannot. I am so grateful for Arty’s blessings.

Rev. Ruth Ward


March Operations Report


The month of March saw a lot of activity at Mission Central as you will see in the following reporting numbers:

  • Total Mission Central Volunteers: 481
  • Total Mission Central Volunteer Hours: 1,596


  • In-House Partners Product: $ 300,477                                  People Assisted: 108,943
  • Mission Central Product (Cap. Region): $ 76,577                People Assisted: 54,711
  • Mission Central Product (Rest of PA): $ 5,734                     People Assisted: 2,673
  • Mission Central Product (Nationally): $ 124,133                 People Assisted: 15,061
  • Mission Central Product (Internationally): $23,892           People Assisted: 12,593

Thank you for your continued support of Mission Central and all of our partners!!

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