RUSSIA – U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan – who represents Ohio’s Fourth Congressional District, including Shelby County – toured Rustic Hope in Russia for the first time and answered questions from volunteers on July 6.
“Rustic Hope is a 501c3 non-profit organization that offers free support to single mothers before, during, and after delivery. Services may include temporary housing, transportation, food, clothing, baby supplies, daycare, adoption information, post-abortive counseling, parenting classes, etc.,” according to the website. It is also a faith-based organization that has pro-life values.
Jordan, who also holds pro-life beliefs and has sponsored pro-life bills in Congress, praised the volunteers for the support they give to the community.
“This is how communities are supposed to work. This is doing the Lord’s work here and making a huge difference in people’s lives,” Jordan said.
Questions and concerns from volunteers to Jordan included the security of the next election, school choice, the first and second amendments, and the Jan. 6 committee. One volunteer asked the best way to raise awareness about the issues in the foster care system, particularly how children get passed from their birth parents to foster parents throughout their lives.
“The best thing we can do is continue to raise awareness that there’s this need out there,” Jordan said.
“I’m excited that he came out here, especially since the Roe v. Wade decision, because it shows that he cares about the pro-life issues, which he’s showed us that in all of his years of representing us,” Rustic Hope Director Connie McEldowney said.
When asked what she would like to see happen as a result of Jordan’s visit, McEldowney said, “I’d like to see some adoption reform, so that adoption is more affordable, so that it is beneficial to moms too, because right now an abortion is just too easy, and it’s hard for them to choose life and to carry that baby and then to go through the heartbreak of choosing a family to raise them in. I’d like to find a way that we could make it more common, make it more acceptable, make it more beneficial. Maybe some kind of tax breaks or something for them.”
Rustic Hope has around 100 volunteers from children to seniors, and they help around 3,000 people per month. Meeting the needs of thousands of people has been tough currently because of price hikes in baby supplies, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and baby supply shortages, and a decline in donations during the summer, according to Brandi L., a volunteer and fundraiser organizer for Rustic Hope. She said volunteers have been donating their own money to keep operations functioning.
Jordan said the purpose of visiting was to spread awareness about the work Rustic Hope does so they can continue to make a positive impact in people’s lives.
“We hope this gets attention to what great work they’re doing here and the difference they’re making for moms and for little ones,” Jordan said.
If you would like to donate to Rustic Hope, there are donation bins in some stores in the area, or donations will be taken at “The Shed” at 3666 Simon Road in Russia. They are always in need of hygiene products, food, and baby supplies. If you need supplies, parents and guardians of children can shop for free once a month at The Shed, and all they need is an ID and proof of custody of children. The Shed is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit rustichope.org or the Rustic Hope Facebook page.