June 23, 2023

New Place, New Faces, Same Mission:

Over 200 Attend Iowa Grand Opening

On Saturday, June 17, Midwest Mission officially opened its doors to a second location with a Ribbon Cutting Grand Opening at the new campus in Jefferson, Iowa. 

Midwest Mission was founded in the year 2000 and was commissioned by the Illinois Great Rivers Conference with $100,000 seed money. The purpose was to create a place where needed resources could be brought together and sent to those in crisis to actively be the hands and feet of Jesus. 

God was working in and through Midwest Mission to create the Iowa location. God sped up the timeline, and within six months of what was supposed to be the start of a feasibility study period, God put the right people in place, and the doors were opened to the new facility. 

Danille Curtis, Midwest Mission’s Iowa Coordinator, was instrumental in making this happen. She has been on staff since 2020, and felt God’s call to make a home for Midwest Mission in Iowa. What began as a Permanent Collection Site at Jefferson First United Methodist Church evolved into hosting volunteer days, and finally God led her and the rest of the staff to open a branch of Midwest Mission in Iowa. 

The ribbon cutting, held by Jefferson Matters, commenced the Grand Opening event.

Midwest Mission was grateful for the presence of Iowa Bishop Kennetha Bigham-Tsai and Assistant to the Bishop Rev William Poland at the Grand Opening. Bishop Kennetha shared a beautiful sentiment to how the Holy Spirit is working through the ministry of Midwest Mission, saying “the Holy Spirit did the feasibility study.”

Chantel Corrie, Midwest Mission Executive Director, spoke to those in attendance about how the Iowa location came to be, and extended gratitude to all those who made it possible. The hard work of volunteer leaders, Brett and Kristi Ahrens and Bill and Connie Ridgley, Iowa Board member Alaire Willits, and Danille Curtis, her husband Kent, and her daughters Hannah and Grace opened the doors to Midwest Mission in Iowa. Chantel and the team were also grateful to the Greene County Development Committee for their excitement, encouragement, and support of making Jefferson, Iowa Midwest Mission’s second home.

As the time came to cut the ribbon, Bishop Kennetha stood side-by-side with Danille, and together they cut the ribbon, officially opening Midwest Mission Iowa.

Over 200 people came to the Grand Opening event. They toured the Jefferson facility, learned about making plastic sleeping mats out of grocery bags using looms, packed Rice Meals, shopped at Midwest Mission Gifts (a Fair Trade gift shop), learned about serving opportunities with Midwest Mission, and celebrated the work God is doing in and through Midwest Mission.  

The Jefferson location will take in donations, make Midwest Mission Kits, Sleeping Mats, and Rice Meals, do sewing projects, and distribute some supplies locally. 

Most items will be driven to the Midwest Mission headquarters in Illinois for national and international distribution, working together to live out the ministry’s mission: bringing the hearts and hands of God’s people together to transform resources into humanitarian relief. 

Midwest Mission Iowa is now open for volunteers. Volunteer shifts are available Monday through Thursday from 8:30am-4pm. To sign up for a shift, volunteers can go to midwestmission.org/iowa.

Midwest Mission Gifts will be open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, and Saturday 9am-12pm.

“We just want to say a big thank you to everyone who prayed for this new opportunity, to those who dedicated their time, money, and resources, and those who let God continue to lead us to this new adventure,” Chantel Corrie said. “The Holy Spirit is alive and active in this place. We hope you can join us at one of our locations soon.”

Guess the number of plastic bags it takes to make a sleeping mat

During the Grand Opening, we had people guess how many plastic grocery bags it takes to make one sleeping mat with the loom.

The correct answer: 481 bags!

Corinne Bancroft had the closest guess with 472 bags

Great job, Corinne!

Highest guess: 8,010

Lowest guess: 82

Watch the Grand Opening Recap Video here

Fibers of Love Donates 357 lbs of Handmade Items

Fibers of Love, a sewing group based out of Bloomington, Illinois, dropped off 357 lbs of handmade items on Wednesday, June 21. The group started 28 years ago, “sewing for the community, county, country and the world.” 

Trisha Horner and Karen Henry came by Midwest Mission to donate 190 lbs of one-handled bags that will be used in Student Kits and Feminine Hygiene Kits. They also donated 167 lbs of other handmade items such as receiving blankets, baby sweaters, and little girl outfits. These items were all made by the group since the last time they donated items to Midwest Mission in March. 

They use donated materials to make handmade items that they send out to organizations. A few months ago, Midwest Mission received a large donation of fabric from a fabric store that had closed. Fibers of Love was able to take some of the fabric back to Bloomington. While stopping in to donate on Wednesday, they told us a lot of the items they made used the fabric they received from that donation. That is mission in motion!

Almost 30 people meet on a weekly basis to sew and cut fabric. They meet in the basement of First Christian Church in Bloomington, along with congregants from seven other churches in the area of several different denominations. What a beautiful representation of unity among God’s people through serving God’s kingdom together.

If you would like to learn more about ways you can serve from home, go to midwestmission.org/at-home

Prayers to Lift Up

This week, join us in praying for those who are currently experiencing disasters - whether natural or man-made. Pray that they will call upon Jesus for help, and that their basic needs can be met, so that they will be filled with hope for their future.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

Romans 15:13

Midwest Mission Weekly Projects

Work of the Mission Volunteers

Projects completed

  • 3 Bed Packs
  • 30 Birthing Kits
  • 10 Layette Kits
  • 2190 Personal Dignity Kits
  • 310 Student Kits
  • 1061 Rice Meals — Dardenne Prairie Presbyterian  Dardenne Prairie, IL

Other work done

  • Bikes - repaired
  • Desks - parts prepared, built, polyurethaned
  • Sewing Machines - repaired
  • Cleaning
  • Sorting donations from Annual Conferences
  • Sorting outfits
  • Counting items into inventory
  • Sewing


  • CICIM, Decatur, IL: Redirect clothing for Kentucky Mountain Mission Value: $4,705.00
  • Mini O'Beirne Crisis Nursery. Springfield, IL: 144 Cover Them With Love Quilts Value: $8,640.00
  • Fibers of Love, Bloomington, IL: 2 Electric sewing machines Value: $400.00
  • The Giving Place, Tolono, IL: Redirect hygiene and school supplies Value: $498.00
  • Watseka First UMC, Watseka, IL: Redirect hygiene and school supplies Value: $234.00

Midwest Mission is able to do this work because of your generous donations and willingness to volunteer. Thank you!

Share some GOD news with those you love!

Do you have family or friends that need some GOOD News - GOD News - to uplift them? If so please click on the button below and share the link provided. The more we can spread the word about the work God is doing here, the more we can make the world a happier place.

Link to Share the Midwest Mission Newsletter

Ready to Get Involved?

Volunteer at Midwest Mission

Dates are available in 2023, 2024, and 2025

Need a Saturday option for team volunteering

or assistance in booking?

Contact Pat Wright at pat@midwestmission.org

or 217-697-4063

Click below to check calendar openings and to reserve your spots.

Volunteer Reservation Calendar

2025 Volunteer Calendar is now open for dorm reservations!

Go to our Reservation Calendar, log in, reserve your rooms, and submit payment for your Non-refundable Reservation Fee via credit card or electronic check. We will email you the Access Code to reserve Volunteer Shifts for your team. You must complete this step for your team to volunteer at Midwest Mission.

For local teams and individuals: Volunteer Shifts will only be available 3 months ahead of time. Beginning October 1, 2023 you will be able to reserve Volunteer Shifts for January of 2024.

Thank you for your patience as we try to improve the reservation experience for both local teams and those staying in the dorm.

Volunteers at Work

June 19 - June 23, 2023

Volunteer Leaders

Donna Downen

Tolono, IL

Karen Chumbley

Savoy, Illinois

Volunteer Teams

Salem UMC

Evansville, IN

Taylorville UMC

Taylorville, IL

SPARC Summer Program

Springfield, IL

Monticello UMC

Monticello, IL

St. Joseph UMC

St. Joseph, IL

Bellflower UMW

Bellflower, IL

Douglas Avenue UMC Youth

Springfield, IL

We are so grateful for all our regular volunteers, and the time they give towards volunteering at Midwest Mission. We appreciate their passion and dedication to the ministry!

Click Here for the UMVIM NCJ Newsletter
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