MOUNT VERNON — Interchurch Social Services of Knox County has been a lifeline for families all across the county. As of July 2010, ISS served 4,331 households, 10,729 individuals, 94 homeless, and 528 single parents.
The organization is a Christian faith-based ministry dedicated to serving the community with a variety of resources available such as food pantry, financial aid and clothing vouchers.
Behind this driving force are individuals diligently working to meet the needs of families and individuals in crisis. Joy Harris, executive director of ISS, was honored on Tuesday during the regular ISS meeting for her commitment and effort.
“I’m so surprised,” said Harris. “I had no idea.”
For over five years, she has been working countless hours with families, and teaming up with community organizations and volunteers.
“I feel blessed to be able to help our community,” said Harris.
“Joy has been with us since 2004 and has done an excellent job,” said Bob Lantz, board member. “She has coordinated many projects and kept things moving. One big project was the move from the old building to the new building (at 306 W. Gambier St.). She also instituted a new system of free choice for people using the pantry.”
People can now choose the foods they need instead of getting an order of prepackaged food, said Lantz, which has worked out much better for families with specific needs.
The appreciation luncheon was also a time of celebration with the news of the selling of the old building on Gambier Street. Ceremoniously, the board members brought a copy of the mortgage deed and burned it.
“With the sale of the old building we were able to retire the debt on the new building,” said Harris.
Guests from all around the county and representatives from various church organizations were present during the event.
Mayor Richard Mavis presented a proclamation in recognition of Harris’ hard work. Instrumental in writing grants, an advisor, and encouraging higher morale upon volunteers were just a few aspects of Harris’ work that have made a difference in the lives of so many, he said.
“Joy never gives up in her effort to help a client,” said Mavis.