Arms Outstretched Ministry, based in Stafford, VA, has a mission to show the love of Jesus through acts of compassion that make a difference in people’s lives. To that end, founder and president Michelle Humphries has gone about doing good for a wide variety of people in the northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area. From at-risk teens and children, to homeless and poverty-stricken families, to incarcerated individuals in local jail systems, Arms Outstretched is making a difference.
The largest group they reach out to on a regular basis is our servicemembers and their families in the DC area. They do this through two ministries: Wounded Warrior Outreach, which provides meals, care packages, and support to the wounded at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, has been enormously successful. With financial support from Americans Helping Americans, they are also able to help with transportation needs of family members who might otherwise not be able to visit their wounded loved ones in the hospital; and second, Adopt A Soldier Outreach is an effort to serve military troops overseas in wartime, as well as to support their families here in the DC area. Beginning in August, Arms Outstretched expanded their Adopt A Soldier program to include meal packages through the Angel Food Ministries program.
With a grant from Americans Helping Americans, Arms Outstretched Ministry purchases 100 Angel Food Ministries meal packages once a month to families in need, particularly those of E-5 and below who struggle to make ends meet. They also look at individuals on a case-by-case basis to see if there is any further help they can provide. But the need is much greater than the 100 families they currently serve at their Stafford location, so efforts to set up Angel Food distribution points, staffed by volunteers for Arms Outstretched, on Fort Belvoir and MCB Quantico are underway.
The process began with sending emails and flyers explaining the new “Military Meal Distribution” program to base officials. “When we first started it, we had a hundred names instantly. It was amazing,” says Humphries. “And then as word gets out we’re adding names to the list. We’re just hoping for more funding so we can bless everybody.” Humphries explains that with the support of base officials, there are already an additional 300 or more families on a waiting list.
For those who would like to donate meal packages, contact Arms Outstretched Ministry, as they purchase directly from the Angel Food program, specifically for the Military Meal Distribution ministry. Humphries emphasizes that without the grant from Americans Helping Americans, they would not be able to serve the current 100 families. The funds just aren’t there. But with the promising addition of distributions points on two military bases, they will need all the help they can get, with both donations and team volunteers. Contact Michelle Humphries at 703-517-0200, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.