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Editorial: Time to help community asset Orphan Grain Train

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Orphan Grain Train has been chugging along for 12 years in Bartholomew County, distributing donated goods to people in need worldwide.

But, it’s now the one in need of a little assistance.

The all-volunteer, nonprofit, Lutheran-based ministry needs more fuel (donations), a new place to call a home station and its next conductor.

Gene Wint, 79, brought the ministry to his farm in Azalia from Seymour in 2002 because he said he felt God nudging him to help when a new headquarters was needed.

Since then, donations of all kinds — clothing to furniture to appliances — have been stored in a former pig barn and in truck trailers on the property while waiting to be shipped elsewhere.

The organization under Wint’s leadership has made a world of difference to others, but he is retiring from his role Dec. 31.

That’s prompted the organization to begin looking for another home and move forward with raising funds to buy a property and move in. As much as $600,000 could be needed.

A more immediate concern is the supply of donations is not able to fill the basic needs of people.

Within the past month, Wint and his volunteers have had to turn away more than 30 families seeking beds and large appliances such as washers, dryers, ovens and refrigerators.

Orphan Grain Train is a resource that others turn to for help. Columbus Faith Victory Church Clothes Closet recently received a donation of 150 boxes of clothes. Bartholomew County’s Love Chapel received four tons of potatoes for free, and has used Orphan Grain Train’s Kids Against Hunger food packets to supplement the food pantry’s supply.

Furniture and household items have been given to regional clients of Columbus-based Turning Point Domestic Violence Services.

Keeping this organization going strong is crucial to helping people in need, locally and abroad.

Columbus and Bartholomew County have long histories of people rising to the occasion to help others, by donating time, talent and money. Here is another opportunity.

By assisting this one organization, many more will be helped.

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