South Hills Interfaith Ministries (SHIM) provides services to low income families in the South Hills of Pittsburgh through a food and clothing bank and assistance in learning to budget money and in applying for energy assistance. They also have a center in an apartment complex which houses many, many refugee families. SHIM does so much for so many and uses their money so wisely! This year, they are converting some of their lawn into a garden to supplement the food bank with fresh vegetables. What a great use of resources!
I first came to know South Hills Interfaith Ministries through my church's participation in one of their food drives, but over the years I've lived in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, I've become more involved and now serve on their board. SHIM serves the suburban poor in countless ways and answers ever increasing needs: a food and clothing bank, run by volunteers who respect the dignity of our cllients; a fall drive to collect items for school, enabling kids to start the school year with new backpacks and supplies; advice about money management and energy assistence; a wonderful intergenerational, multicultural Thanksgiving dinner for clients; a summer day camp that gives kids who might otherwise be home alone weeks full of a variety of appropriate outside activities.
To support all of their many services, SHIM calls upon all of the various religious denominations in the South Hills, keeping them informed and engaging their members are both financial donors and as volunteers.
I have been impressed with SHIM ever since I first volunteered to help at one of their Back-to-School events. It was very rewarding to know that kids, from families that were struggling to make ends meet, would be returning to school with a new backpack and the supplies they needed.
I have also volunteered at the Family Support Center in Prospect Park where services are provided primarily to a large population of refugee families. The staff is caring and resourceful and truly help to fill significant needs in the lives of those they serve.
In these trying economic times, the demand for the services that SHIM offers continues to grow. SHIM staff works hard to meet these needs and does so in a caring, respectful and professional manner.