Volunteer Coordinator Gail Morris (left) and Business Manager Louise Mitchell admire the new sign proclaiming La Casa de la Hope's name change to The Ministry of Hope.
Tucumcari’s neighborhood ministry, La Casa de la Hope, is changing its name. But it’s not changing its methods or its penchant for serving the community, Vice President Mary Ann Garrett said.
Newly dubbed The Ministry of Hope, the only thing different at its South First Street location is a new sign. Garrett said the only reason they changed their name was because they have incorporated.
“We want the community to know we are in the same location and we’re the same ministry,” Garrett said, explaining the letters in hope are an acronym for Helping Others Prosper Eternally. She said they will continue their slew of community service.
Thomas Broom, president of the ministry’s board of directors, said the group’s name was changed to meet federal guidelines.
Broom said when the newly elected board took over late last year, they found paperwork had not been filed with federal government or the IRS although they had been incorporated with the state.
In order to ensure tax-exempt status for their purchases, the ministry had to file a new set of corporate papers with the federal government, Broom said. Being incorporated,
Broom said, means the organization follows all guidelines set forth by the government, including filing financial paperwork with the IRS.
To incorporate the ministry without changing its name, he added, would entail providing financial records for the last five years, something they did not have.
Instead the ministry’s board voted to change the name, filed for incorporation with the federal government and will begin filing the required financial documents with the IRS going forward. All assets will remain with the ministry under its new moniker, he said.
Garrett said the ministry’s activities have previously included giving away more than 50 baskets of food at Thanksgiving and an Angel Tree program in which gifts are donated to more than 100 children whose parents are in jail.
Those kinds of events will continue, she said.
Business Manager Louise Mitchell said other actions have included helping a stranded motorist when his tire blew and helping a family from out of town whose motor home broke down.
“We don’t only help people in our community,” Mitchell said, “but also travelers. We help everyone in need.”
In addition to their constant supply of clothes, baby and household items, The Ministry of Hope provides motel vouchers and food.
“We helped 102 people last week,” Mitchell said.
“I can feel what it means to me — but I can’t put it into words,” Mitchell said of her role helping others while working closely with Volunteer Coordinator Gail Morris.
“I feel like we’ve been called to God to do this ministry,” Mitchell said.