Hats Off To Benchley Bros!

Benchley Brothers GMC dealership in Clare has been a significant part of this community since 1972. They have supported many fundraisers and community activities in the area simply because of their compassion for others and a desire to make a difference. On Thursday, July 22nd once again, Jim Benchley came to the aid of a local organization. Arming himself with a huge smile and a shiny set of vehicle keys, Jim made a donation to Joshua’s House Maternity Home. “What a blessing it was to receive a phone call from a long time customer of the Benchley’s notifying us that the dealership was donating a vehicle to our organization. This donation will assist us in transporting our expectant mothers to and from their doctors visits and required destinations in order to care for their health and the health of their unborn babies,” Said Executive Director Rene’e Jeffords. “We couldn’t be happier with their generosity, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.” Joshua’s House had been utilizing vehicles that were privately owned by volunteers working for Joshua’s House. Some of the vehicles are very old and on their “last leg” and soon would be quite costly to repair. “Safety is always first with us and now this is just one less concern that we have to keep an eye on” said Jeffords. “How wonderful it is to have a group of people like the Benchley family of employees to want to help as you care for those in our community that are in need.” The staff and residents of Joshua’s House are extremely thankful for this generous effort of support.

Joshua’s House Fundraiser Successful

Just over 80 people attended and approximately $2,000 was raised October 23 at the dinner and silent auction held for the new Joshua’s House at Mid Michigan Community College. Another $2,000, earmarked for “capacity building” or training for maternal staff and administration, was presented to the organization from the Clare County Enterprise Community. Shown here Jerome Burger, CCEC Executive Director presents the $2,000 check to Renee Jeffords founder of Joshua’s House. On the right is Sharon Bidigare, president of the CCEC. “It went really well,” said Jeffords. She said the funds raised by the dinner, silent auction and offering will be used towards the down payment for a location for the organization, which will offer a temporary home, classes and medical services for pregnant young adults.

Warriors of Light Benefit Ride

On August 15, 2009, the Warriors of the Light, Christian Motorcyclists Association,  Chapter 580, of Mt. Pleasant Michigan, held a Motorcycle Benefit Ride to raise money in support of Joshua’s House, a Maternity Home, that is raising funds in support of  purchasing a facility to have the home in.   The ride began in Shamrock Park in Clare. There were 29 motorcycles and 44 total participants in this event.  The ride was approximately70 miles and toured through parts of Clare, Isabella, Midland and Gladwin Counties, ending back in Shamrock Park in Clare, where there was food for all participants. Door prize tickets were drawn as the crowd ate and prizes were awarded to all in attendance.

Donations of items came from the following area business and individuals: Fran Sizemore (from West Branch chapter - doilies), Steve's Country Market, Harrison, Central Motor Sports, Mt. Pleasant, Lil' Chef Restaurant, Mt. Pleasant, Express Lube, Clare, Heritage Automall, Mt. Pleasant, Shaheens, Mt. Pleasant, Ponderosa, Mt. Pleasant, Clare Big Boy, Clare, American Cleaners, Clare, Coffee Talk 505, Clare, Hungry Howies, Clare, Buccilli's Pizza, Clare, Dagwoods Auto Repair Clare, Crankers, Mt. Pleasant, Meijer's, Mt. Pleasant, Glen's Market, Clare, Kroger Store, Mt. Pleasant, Divine Power and Crank, Shepherd, Gordon Food Service, Mt. Pleasant, Kay & Jim LaMay, DuCharme’s Country Store, Farwell.

The amount raised from this event was just slightly over $700.00 and was presented to Joshua’s House President Renee Jeffords by the Warriors of the Light Chapter President Donna LaMay. Our thanks to one and all that helped and participated in this event, we hope to make this an annual Benefit Ride for the on going expenses of Joshua’s House.

American Legion Contributes to Joshua's House

On August 7th, the Clare-Farwell American Legion Post 558 contributed to the support of Joshua’s House, a non-profit organization designed to meet the needs of pregnant women choosing to preserve life. Pictured is Post Commander, Bill Zastrow presenting a check for $500.00 to Renee Jeffords, Executive Director of Joshua’s House.

Joshua’s House to open in Clare

By Pat Maurer
Review Correspondent

The culmination of six years of planning and development, Joshua’s House, a new home for expectant mothers, may be open as soon as Thanksgiving, said founder Reneé Jeffords of Farwell.

Supported by State and local Right to Life organizations, service organizations, area doctors, churches and pastoral associations in Clare, Harrison, Farwell, Roscommon, Houghton Lake, Gladwin, Mt. Pleasant and Midland, Clare’s new Joshua’s House is becoming a reality.

Joshua’s House was named for the Bible verse, Joshua 24:15: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

The new brochure says, “Our maternity home is a safe family environment that has a full-time caring staff to support a woman’s choice to carry her baby to full term.”

A tentative location near downtown Clare has been found, with a property purchase offer made on the former Doherty home, although the purchase is not yet final. Clare was selected “for the first of its kind in the center of Michigan, serving all women equally,” Jeffords said.

It is ready, Jeffords continued. Joshua’s House now has its 501-30 non-profit status and is governed by a three-member board.

Funding will come from donations, funds pledged by private citizens, churches and organizations, and from fundraisers, speaking engagements to raise funds and grants.

Jeffords called the home an alternative for abortion, providing a “loving home … in a Christ-like atmosphere.”

Mothers-to-be who have few other options will be able come to the non-denominational home and stay free, with only a charge for some groceries, in the facility throughout their pregnancy and for up to 12 weeks after the delivery of a baby. Residents will be assisted in planning for a place to live after their stay. “Some will come to deliver and raise their child and some will deliver and allow the baby to be adopted,” Jeffords said. “We won’t make that decision, but we will support the mother’s decision.

“Ideally we would like to have expectant mothers come to the home by their fifth month of pregnancy,” Jeffords said.

A stay at Joshua’s House will include ongoing weekly Bible study, financial classes by H & R Block on budgeting, child parenting classes, relationship restoration classes that teach forgiveness and accepting responsibility for a relationship gone bad, and business, resume and interview skills to help prepare for the workplace.

A full-time House Mother and House Father will be part of the staff. Jeffords, an licensed minister, will conduct the Bible Study. Lisa Card and staff from H&R Block will handle financial classes and Onita Oles, a professor from Central Michigan University, will teach the business skills classes.
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