Each week, the Guiding Circle of the Fund for Women and Girls selects one Woman Warrior from submitted nominations to spotlight. This week features our very first honoree.
Endless Service to Others
One woman brings humanitarian aid to hundreds of families
Pastor Julia Wike is a retired worker, a dedicated pastor in the Mahoning Valley and the director of the Basement Outreach Ministries. Each day, she serves the community through selfless acts of kindness, giving of herself without accepting a salary or compensation and working tirelessly to offer basic humanitarian aid to individuals and families in our communities.
In the past eight weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pastor Julia has worked from early morning into the night hours ordering food and/or obtaining donated food, unloading trucks, buying groceries, stocking shelves, documenting statistics, assuring funds are available, creating transportation routes by zip code and bagging groceries each week for families. She has also managed to continue the Basement Outreach Family Meal program, giving out a home cooked meal prepared by volunteers, hygiene care products and large bags or boxes of groceries for families who need them.
Although pick-up is available, Pastor Julia recognizes that many people in need of this food support do not have access to transportation; therefore, the Basement Outreach Ministries is one of the few organizations that delivers, making stops at homes throughout Mahoning and Trumbull Counties. She will not allow even one person to be left out.
During the month of April alone, the Basement Outreach delivered groceries, hot meals and personal care products to 908 men, women and children in 344 families. Pastor Julia organizes volunteers, giving each driver a binder with detailed information to ensure deliveries are smooth, safe and successful.
Focus has been on this primary service at the Basement Outreach Ministries, but there is so much that goes on outside of the daily activities of her organization. When a text came in from a woman raising her grandchildren on a limited budget and who is prevented by age and health from going to the store herself, Pastor Julia went out and purchased diapers for the family. When she received a call from a mom whose shipment of Ensure was delayed for her child with a disability causing G-tube feedings, Pastor Julia ran to Sam’s Club and filled the gap for that family. Then on her way home from late nights at the Basement, Pastor Julia frequently stops at the gas station to offer help to those she sees outside of the station in need of assistance.
Pastor Julia is committed to demonstrating the love of God for others, and it seems there is truly no limit to her service to others. She has been a Woman Warrior on the front lines of the coronavirus health crisis, and her dedication to the Mahoning Valley is one of the ways our community will make it through this #Together.
If you know a woman doing great things during these uncertain times, please nominate her for Women Warriors today!