Action Ministries was founded in 1993 by Zane and Janet Benson. As a couple, they were burdened for needy Grand Manan families and wanted to develop a ministry to help in emergency situations.
The hallmark verse of Action Ministries is:
What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world. ( James 1:27)
Action Ministries is a cross denominational organization with oversight given by a twelve-member Board of Directors. The Board meets monthly. Our current (and only) Executive Director, Marilyn Carey, leads these meetings. Action Ministries became a registered charity in 1995.
In February 1994, the Food Bank was opened and operated from a portable trailer that was used to store food. A short time later it was relocated to the Boys & Girls Club. Food boxes were delivered to needy families from this
location. In February 2002, the Food Bank found its way to the current location in the basement of Immanuel Family Church. Those needing help now come to the Food Bank and, with the help of volunteers, select what grocery items they need.
The first Annual Meeting of Action Ministries was held in April of 2003 and a new Board of Directors was presented. Annual Meetings are held yearly in April. The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend and features a special speaker as a part of the program. Notices of the meeting are circulated to every island resident a couple of weeks prior to the event.
In 2010, Action Ministries opened a second-hand store in the Castalia Hall, which was provided to the ministry, rent free. Ruth Fair-Parker was the first co-ordinator and “Thrifty’s” was adopted as the official name. In 2012, Vivian Fleet succeeded Ruth and continues to give stellar leadership at Thrifty’s. Twenty-six volunteers give their time to this effective and wonderful ministry. Island residents enthusiastically embrace this thriving ministry/business and generously donate clothing, dishes, games, appliances and more.
Action Ministries would be unable to function without the support of our island community. The ministry depends on donations of food and money from churches, businesses, organizations and individuals, to help stock the shelves. Aside from donations food is purchased regularly based on projected needs. A portion of our funds goes to make food purchases. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available at the Food Bank.
Many island residents are assisted by Action Ministries. In addition to food, assistance is provided with heating bills, wood, home repairs, travel to the hospital and off-island appointments, camp registrations and a host of other things.
Our prayer is that Action Ministries will continue to provide this needed ministry for years to come.