The Center in Midland uses their faith and good will to make a positive impact in their community.
The Center has been serving the Midland community and beyond since 2010, starting with small service act, planting flowers, renovating a playground, and being a part of community events. However, the founders’ desire to make a larger impact led to them running their first day camp for k-8 kids.
From there, The Center blossomed and the group was able to purchase a building and open a child care center on Ohio Street in Midland.
Eventually, they opened a food bank and clothing bank, and then, after lots of hard work, they were able to open their doors to the children of the community, helping with homework and providing meals. They are also developing a thrift store which is set to open February 25 this year.
Originally, Four Mile Church on Tuscarawas Road in Ohiolville wanted to get involved in community improvement, but The Center as it is known today owes its existence to leaders Cory and Jen Miller with the backing of Four Mile Church.
Now, more than 1300 kids have experienced The Center, and they have a number of programs and classes for both kids and adults. They’ve had art, cooking, dance, acting, mechanics and STEM programs, as well as field trips, and they were able to open a music ministry. They host the much loved Super Week each summer as well as tutoring, counseling, and other services.
The Center averages 120 volunteers a week from a variety of different churches, organizations, and businesses.
“While our roots are from Four Mile Church, we are an independent 501(c)3 [non-profit organization]. Members of Four Mile, as well as dozens of other churches, businesses, organizations, and community members help support us through financial and in-kind gifts and volunteering,” explained co-founder Jen Miller.
Mrs. Miller, although she holds a paid position at The Center as its executive director, has an extensive history with volunteer work.
“I have volunteered my entire life as a coach, CASA advocate, at my church, and in other organizations,” shared Mrs. Miller.
Volunteers are one of the most essential aspect of The Center, and there is a system in place to make sure that volunteers enjoy what they do.
“Volunteering allows us to invest our time in people and organizations that are meaningful and use our gifts and talents in unique ways. At The Center, we place volunteers based on what they love and are passionate about, never because there is an area that needs to be filled. Because of this [volunteer matching system], our turn-over rate is very low, with some volunteers being with us for over 12 years,” Mrs. Miller said.
The Center is a wonderful resource for people of all ages to find activities, community, and faith. As displayed on The Center’s website, a student at the center said, “The Center is a place full of respect and it’s an awesome place to fellowship with others. I come because it’s a real opportunity for me to give back to the community and always help. I have learned to respect people, God, and His things.”
For information on how to get involved with The Center, either through volunteer work or donations, visit their website, www.midland.center, for more information.