Pastor launches directory connecting services, ministries to families in need

A pillar of the Christian walk is the need to “serve the underserved,” said Gary Furr, pastor of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church.

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation 2019 Kids Count Profile, Alabama ranks 44th in the country in overall child well-being. The Alabama Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children (ACHMC) wants to do something about that.

Launched by Furr, ACHMC is dedicated to building a network of resources to support families in need in Alabama.

“We need more cooperation,” Furr told those in attendance at the ACHMC Help Alabama app preview luncheon hosted by Samford University’s Center for Congregational Resources in January. “We aren’t competitors. We’re all against the things that are hurting people. We’re all on the same team.”

One-stop shop

The goal of the Help Alabama app, which is now available in both the Apple and Google Play stores as well as online at www.achmc.com, is to offer a one-stop shop for families looking for assistance. The Help Alabama app is a directory of services ranging from clothing, food, healthcare and transportation ministries to counseling, churches and employment and legal services — both faith-based and secular.

The directory is not about competition between services and ministries, Furr emphasized, but about helping those in need.

“We never wanted to create competition for people doing things already,” he said. “We want to help the people doing things do them more effectively. It’s about crossing disciplines and connecting people.”

Furr said it was his three granddaughters who inspired this project.

“I am exceptionally worried about the world my grandchildren are growing up in,” he said. “I want them and their peers to be successful. If we in Alabama could make childhood the best it can be, we will raise healthy adults who will impact their community.”

Furr recently sat down with Jennifer Davis Rash and Debbie Campbell to discuss the Help Alabama app on TAB Talks. Listen at tabonline.org/podcasts or anywhere you get your podcasts.