"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me,'" New International Version of the Bible.
That verse is the heart and soul of Pass It Forward, a local non-profit ministry that assists individuals or families in need.
To continue helping families, Pass It Forward is holding a fundraising event. A spaghetti dinner will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 at the Municipal Building.
Founded in February 2007, Pass It Forward started when Walt Stockwell began giving away large appliances to people in need. The items were donated and Stockwell made sure the appliances were in good working order.
With help from Stan Hendershot, a storefront ministry was opened at 104 West Fourth. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the organization accepts contributions of used and new items.
Moving donations in and delivering them can require some muscle depending on the item so volunteers, including ones with strong backs, are always welcome.
Nothing is turned away. Items are put on the shelves and available at no cost. But this is not a free shopping center. The customer has to have a need and not just a want.
From that meager beginning, Pass it Forward helped over 1200 people in 2012 with furniture, appliances, food and whatever they needed, Stockwell said.
Families that are victims of fire, evicted, single parent, elderly, homeless, financially needy have received help from Pass It Forward.
The organization is totally non-profit and exists entirely on the charity of others. Because Pass It Forward operates this way, they are broke about 90 percent of the time.
"We are completely at the mercy of the donations we get," Stockwell said.
To help increase the outreach of the ministry, the organization has gotten grants from the South Central Community Foundation. With the $3,000 grant, space heaters and fans were purchased to help keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
A recent event is an example of the way Pass It Forward can work in the community. A home needed new shingles but the family couldn't afford the cost. Working with A&R Roofing and some donated time, material and labor, Pass It Forward was able to get the house shingled at no cost.
"This was a great opportunity to give back to the community. I was glad we could help this family," said Shaphan Staats, A&R Roofing central Kansas territory manager. "Pass It Forward does a lot of good although they are not always well known."
A nine-member board watches over the organization. They are working along with other ministries in town that are working together to help fill a growing need in the community.
Page 2 of 2 - "I get a call daily from someone in need," Stockwell said. "Today, more then ever, Pass It Forward is needed."
A couple of things Stockwell would like to get established in the community are a soup kitchen and a mission.
Stockwell said he gets calls every day for assistance and Pass It Forward tries to meet their physical needs. Although it is a ministry, they don't preach and they don't require anything of the person in need.
Helping people is a reward.
"It really is a beautiful ministry," Stockwell said. "It's really awesome to see these things work."
Visit www.passitforwardpratt.com or call the ministry line at 620-388-3673 for information.