Author Archives: Whosoever Gospel Mission

Job Opening – Truck Driver

General Description

The Whosoever Gospel Mission is a Christian ministry that serves men experiencing homelessness through its 55-bed residential New Life Program in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia.  The Mission operates two thrift shops (its flagship Germantown Thrift Store and our Lighthouse Thrift Shop in the Lawndale section of Philadelphia) to generate income for the New Life Program and to provide hands-on job readiness training and work experience for New Life Program participants.

The Truck Driver opportunity is a full-time (40 hours per week) hourly ministry position in which the team member will work under the supervision of a store manager to carry out the following responsibilities:

  • Drive a 15 ft. box truck (only requires a regular PA driver’s license and not a CDL) to pick up donations of good used clothing, household items, and furniture for our two thrift stores
  • Deliver furniture purchased from our thrift stores
  • Load and unload thrift store merchandise from the trucks
  • Load and unload trash and recycling generated by the Mission each week
  • Other miscellaneous duties related to thrift store operations as assigned
  • Train and supervise men enrolled in the New Life Program who are assigned a workforce development training responsibility as a truck assistant.  You will also coach our program participants in basic job readiness skills like punctuality, collaborative teamwork, following instructions, etc.

Work ScheduleFull-time, No Evenings or Weekends

Monday – Friday, 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM with a 30 minute paid lunch (each day begins at 8:45 AM with a paid time of staff devotions together with all employees)

Truck Driver Requirements

  • A PA Driver’s License with a good driving record
  • Map reading ability
  • Experience driving a small truck preferred
  • Professional appearance and behavior
  • Strong people skills and the ability to maintain a positive attitude and focus on customer/donor satisfaction
  • A desire to serve the Lord in and through our life-giving Christian ministry to men experiencing homelessness, and a commitment to help them enjoy a good life and become all that God wants them to be
  • The ability to read and write
  • The ability to lift 50 lbs.
  • A teachable, pleasant and flexible spirit

Additional Requirements for Working at the Whosoever Gospel Mission

Because the Whosoever Gospel Mission is a Christian organization, we require that each staff member enjoys a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and endeavors to live a committed Christian life.  In addition, we expect our staff members to regularly attend church.  Each staff member needs to be a good and godly example to our New Life Program participants and to our extended Mission family of supporters. 

Competitive Salary and Benefits

Benefits

  • Health insurance after 60 days – the Mission pays the full premium
  • 2 weeks paid vacation time per year (1st week available after 6 months, then accrues biweekly)
  • 40 hours paid sick time per year
  • Pension plan – SIMPLE IRA (company matched up to 3% of your salary)
  • 9 paid holidays per year
  • Your birthday off as a personal holiday (you can take it on a day other than your birthday)
  • Christmas bonus
  • 20% Thrift Shop Discount (10% on specialty items)
  • Annual staff appreciation dinner
  • Free meals at the Mission, free surplus bread and other food that the Mission cannot use
  • Access to our computer lab
  • An enjoyable work environment

Work Location

Whosoever Gospel Mission
101 E. Chelten Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144


How to Apply

Please email your resume along with an email introducing yourself to the Whosoever Gospel Mission’s Executive Director Dr. Heather Rice at hrice@whosoevergospel.org (please also copy Dr. Bob Emberger at remberger@whosoevergospel.org on your email).

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Christmas Party 2022

We had a delightful time celebrating the birth of Jesus, our Emmanuel – God with us! Here are some photos of the festivities for you to enjoy!

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Christmas Toy Giveaway ~ 2022

This Christmas, we were privileged to help dads and granddads provide amazing gifts to their kids and grandkids for Christmas. The toys are gifts from the dads, not from us. It’s a way for men to bless their kids and strengthen their relationships. At the end of the day, the Lord blessed us to be able to provide over 1,680 toys and gifts for 375 children! A great big thank you to all who donated toys and those who volunteered to make it happen!

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From the Director ~ Christmas 2022

Dear Friends,

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. We’ve been enjoying some festive decorations, all kinds of holiday treats, and special chapel services filled with Christmas music and carol singing. Soon we’ll have our toy giveaway where men will select and wrap over a thousand gifts for their kids and grandkids. After that it won’t be long before we share all sorts of presents with our residents at a special Christmas chapel. All the while, I have Anne Murray on standby to belt out “Joy to the World” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful” whenever it’s my turn to ask Alexa to play something (if you haven’t heard her version of them, you should give a listen!).

All these festivities don’t make the hard things go away, of course. But they remind us in the midst of the darkness just how stunning the Light of the World is. Jesus, our Emmanuel, comes near! His light dispels darkness. And in that light, we see hope and a way forward. That’s what I love about life at the Mission. It doesn’t matter how dark it seems. The darkness can’t swallow up the light. The news the angels brought to the shepherds a couple thousand years ago is the same good news we rejoice in today – news of great joy for all people. It’s news of a Savior, Christ the Lord, who comes to make peace.

Your support helps us shine the light of Jesus in ways that illuminate the path forward for men who come to the Mission looking for help and yearning for peace. Thank you for partnering with us. As we approach the end of 2022, consider perhaps making a special one-time gift to the Mission. Below are some options – each one a practical way to help dispel darkness and shine light on the path forward for a man at the Mission in a life-changing and even life-saving way. This change goes on to affect not just that one man’s life, but the lives and futures of so many others including his family and children. Perhaps one of these options might resonate with you in this season. Here are several great ways you can help:

  1. Consider a generous year-end gift of cash as an investment in transformational life-change.
  2. Instead of giving gifts to each other at the holidays, some families bless our men by pooling their money and giving a special Christmas gift to the Mission from their whole family (individual receipts for each donor can still be given).
  3. If God has especially blessed you this past year, please consider sending a larger-than-usual gift to the Mission. Large gifts take big bites out of our budgeted expenses. They also strengthen and expand our compassionate services to our men.
  4. Give a gift of appreciated stock – this is a great help to us and may provide you with excellent tax benefits, especially if you transfer the stock directly to the Mission without selling it first. Please consult with your financial advisor to confirm these tax benefits. To arrange for an easy electronic transfer of stock, please call me at (215) 438-3094 x 103.
  5. If you have a donor-advised fund, you can recommend that a grant be made to the Whosoever Gospel Mission. Your grant will bless our men in many ways.
  6. You can make up to a $100,000 Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) to the Mission instead of taking your required minimum distribution (RMD). Your distribution must be sent by your IRA custodian directly to the Mission. The effect in most situations is both an income tax savings and an increased gift. Please consult with your financial advisor.
  7. Save postage and time – you can go to whosoevergospel.org/donate to make a secure online gift. You can also set up a monthly recurring donation for 2023.
  8. When you shop online at Amazon.com, make your online purchases through AmazonSmile which is run by Amazon.com as a unique way to support charities. You will get the same service, same merchandise, and the same prices. Register with AmazonSmile and designate the Whosoever Gospel Mission to receive a percentage of all the eligible purchases you make on AmazonSmile. You can search for the Mission on AmazonSmile, or you can type in the following address: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/23-1352579. You won’t pay any more for your purchases, but you will be helping the Whosoever Gospel Mission.
  9. Make a gift to the Mission through PayPal Giving Fund. Search “Donate with PayPal Giving Fund” or go to PayPal Giving Fund’s website: www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/hub and search “Whosoever Gospel Mission.” We get the full value of your donation – PayPal doesn’t charge us any fees.

Thank you for being part of the light that shines with us into the darkness, illuminating the way forward in the path of peace. May the grace and peace of Jesus fill your heart and home this Christmas and always. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Grace and peace,

Heather L. Rice, D.Min.
Executive Director

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From the Director ~ Thanksgiving 2022

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! Here at the Mission, we have so much to thank God for – prayers answered, needs met, relationships restored, staff that were supplied at just the right time…I could go on. We’ve seen God provide what we needed before we even knew there was a need! Each instance is a reminder that God is so very good. Things like the chess tournament Shorty just organized (which Kisho and Andrew won), or the 10-year-old granddaughter’s birthday party that Cory just attended – these are reminders of God’s goodness. It’s easy to think of these things and give thanks. And so we should!

And then there are other things we thank God for – things for which giving thanks feels more like a sacrifice. Things we know are good, even though they’re hard – like when God starts tearing down long-standing strongholds in a person’s life one stone at a time. That can be hard and painful work. Often it involves losing some things that are precious to us. But the light of the Gospel – the good news that Jesus brings life, reconciliation, healing, forgiveness, recovery, and peace – begins to shine through the newly-formed cracks in those stronghold walls. And when it does, we begin to realize even more profoundly just how good God is.

We’re also thankful for the way the Lord makes us a family here at the Mission. Holidays can be hard and lonely for folks struggling with addictions, homelessness, and the like. The strain of broken family relationships weighs especially heavy at times like these. We try our best to make the Mission as warm and inviting as possible. We pull out all the stops for Thanksgiving. It’s a joy to pause the normal activities of life for a day and just gather to worship the Lord, feast on good food, and fellowship around the tables with our brothers and sisters. It’s a reminder that none of us is alone, and that God is so good to us.

Please give thanks with us for the good work God continues to do in this place. And if the Lord should lay it upon your heart, please consider partnering with us in the work that lies ahead! Thank you for your prayers, your donations of needed items, and your financial support! May the Lord bless and keep you and yours this Thanksgiving in His mercy, love and grace!

Grace and peace,

Heather L. Rice, D.Min.
Executive Director

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Summer Highlights

We received a special grant to buy planters and flowers to beautify the Mission’s front entrance. This is where New Life Program residents hang out to get fresh air. It’s also where men coming in off of the street enter the building to begin their journey in the New Life Program.

As one resident said, the flowers give a sense of hope and cheer – like a message from the Lord that you’ve come to the right place. Bob Emberger clearly had fun selecting and planting all of the flowers.

Great Faith Vision came to the Mission and blessed us with complete eye exams and health screenings for 28 of our residents, almost all of whom ended up needing and receiving prescription eye glasses!

Poor eyesight is such a hindrance to employment and independent living. When we send an uninsured gentleman in desperate need of eye care to a local vision center, it costs us around $180 for the exam and glasses. We can’t afford to do that for everyone.

But Great Faith Vision treated 28 men for free! Everyone around the Mission is seeing things much more clearly now!

A friend of the Mission won a new bicycle but didn’t need it, so she gifted it to one of our residents. It was the perfect thing for Ezra. He’s still in therapy after a knee replacement and could use the help getting around. He went to the bike shop to pick up this amazing bike, custom fitted to him!

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From the Director ~ September 2022

Dear friends

As we approach the end of our fiscal year September 30th, we have much to thank God for! It’s been a BIG year for us. We’ve definitely experienced huge change (and all the normal aches and pains that go along with such change). At the same time, we’ve thankfully enjoyed ongoing stability and significant growth.

Financially, it looks like we will end the year in the black with all of our expenses covered. That’s even with some capital projects we tackled this year including a new roof, a major repointing project, a new walk-in refrigerator, and all new computers. That’s a huge praise! We’ve significantly expanded our staffing (and with it our annual expenses) by hiring an Executive Assistant and a Program Director. Both were necessary for me to step away from some daily tasks and into the role of Executive Director. Bob Emberger continues to be a tremendous help mentoring me in my new role, coordinating our volunteers and church partnerships, and doing grant writing. We’ve also increased our minimum starting salary to make sure every team member earns a livable wage. We have a great staff that continues to joyfully love and serve the men in Jesus’ Name. All of this lends great stability to the Mission community.

This stability, in turn, has allowed us to keep on growing and developing the scope and quality of the program services we offer. Over the past year we began covering 50% of the money our graduates needed to move into their own apartments. We’ve been tweaking the New Life Program to better fit today’s job market and our residents’ current needs. We’ve leaned even harder into celebrating residents’ milestones and achievements, like publicly honoring men when they advance in the Program from the Foundations Phase to the Careers Phase and begin their job search. We’ve added more layers of addiction recovery support, and we’re actively trying to cultivate an atmosphere of hope in the midst of all that is broken in our lives, families, city, and beyond. These things and more are the results of asking the simple question, “What does it look like to love God and others right here, right now?”

That’s a question the Mission has been asking for decades. It helps us focus on people, not programming. It allows us to meet men where they are and adjust what we do to help. Thank you for your part in helping to love our men well. As we begin our new fiscal year on October 1st, your generous financial support is needed more than ever as we all continue to experience increased expenses. Thank you in advance for your support, prayers, and encouragement!

Grace and peace,

Heather L. Rice, D.Min.
Executive Director

Don’t mind our squinting faces – it was sunny! But you can see some of our newly pointed front wall. You’ll also notice that our flowers are still alive and thriving!
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From the Director ~ July/August 2022

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Germantown where the Lord continues to do great things! Sometimes those things are big and loud. Other times they’re quiet and subtle. But we rejoice in them all. We celebrated with two New Life Program graduates who just moved into their own places this past month. Another gentleman was invited to his 7-year-old daughter’s kindergarten graduation. He made her a card and a ticket for one free movie outing with dad (which she redeemed that very afternoon!). They had a lovely daddy/daughter date. There’s much to celebrate.

The Lord has also been working in the heavier, harder things. Two of our residents recently lost loved ones. Another man received a tough medical diagnosis. Each of these men has stayed through the trial thus far. They are plugging into community and reaching out for help rather than running away to hide or relying on old habits to numb the pain. We rejoice in this good work of God, too, even while we grieve, pray, love, and hope.

And then there are the men who just keep plugging away through the ordinary obstacles of life. They’re choosing to keep on doing one right thing after another and trusting God to bless and provide. Will is one such gentleman. He recently shared a bit of his story. You can read it here. I think you’ll enjoy it (especially if you like Tastykakes). I certainly do.

My late dad was a Tastykake guy for most of his career. One evening, when I was little, we were all sitting around the dinner table after dad got home from work. When we had finished, he said “Hey Heather, I have something for you in my jacket pocket.” I excitedly ran to the next room and fished in his pocket for what I was sure would be a banana creamie, my favorite Tastykake at the time (they don’t make them anymore!). Instead, it was a digital Cabbage Patch Kid watch with a purple leather band that he picked up from a guy on his route. I declared “A Cabbage Patch Kid watch! That was my next guess!” After my parents finished laughing, my dad said “No it wasn’t! You didn’t even know such a thing existed until now!” He had a point.

When I saw that watch, I realized it’s what I would have wanted, if only I knew it existed. Often, it’s the same way here at the Mission. Men come looking for one thing – help overcoming an addiction, getting a job, or a place to stay. But then they encounter the love of Jesus and realize that God wants to give them so much more – peace, joy, forgiveness, hope, and a good future. Thanks for your part in helping men find not only what they came for, but so much more.

Grace and peace,

Heather L. Rice, D.Min.
Executive Director

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Meet Will

Tastykakes aren’t the only reason Will has many friends at the Mission, but it sure doesn’t hurt when he brings them home from work to share with the Mission family!

After completing the Foundations Phase of the Mission’s New Life Program, Will got a job at Tastykake where he continues to thrive. He has good benefits and has just been approved for full-time permanent work. But that’s not his end goal. He’s striving for more. He wants to build this job into a career, save up money, find a good apartment, and get more involved in his home church. He wants to keep growing.

If you ask Will what he’s learning these days, he’ll tell you God is teaching him to slow down and not move too fast. He’s learning that God is the One who blesses his efforts, and that walking with Him and taking the time to do things the right way always pays off.

It’s like the laws of the harvest we often talk about at the Mission. We reap WHAT we sow, we reap MORE than we sow, and we reap LATER than we sow. Will is working on planting seeds of faithfulness, and he’s waiting patiently. Now he’s starting to enjoy a harvest of good things. He’s praying more, trying to listen more than he speaks, and choosing to humble himself before the Lord and trust in Him and His timing.

Will takes to heart and lives out the Bible verse that says “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

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Urgent Need Met! Walk-In Refrigerator

UPDATE: Thank you to all who helped us reach our goal!

Our 14-year-old large walk-in refrigerator needs to be replaced as soon as possible. The whole project will cost us $17,950. Friends just committed $10,000 to replace the fridge. We’re looking to raise the remaining $7,950. We serve about 165 meals each day to men working hard to overcome addictions, find good jobs, and secure their own permanent housing. Any help is deeply appreciated!

https://www.facebook.com/donate/560075255849541/

Thanks!

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