CRAWFORD, CO: In the small town of Crawford, CO, where you’ll find a handful of shops and a tight-knit community, lives are being changed thanks to robust services provided and critical upgrades implemented at the Crawford Community United Methodist Church. This community church redefines “small but mighty.” In a town with a population of 405 people and a congregation of 28, CCUMC has left their mark on the community by operating a thrift shop and maintaining a community food bank to provide vital services to those in need. While they had made due with what they had, a recent restroom renovation made possible by a grant from Methodists Helping Methodists Foundation has allowed them to better serve those that are mobility limited and provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for all.

Prior to renovations, the thrift shop which was connected to the main church building by a walkway and a flight of stairs, did not have any restrooms. This posed difficulties for some of the guests and volunteers, particularly those with mobility issues. In 2021, a dedicated trustee proposed an innovative solution. The idea was to convert the walkway space into a restroom on the same level as the thrift shop, making it easily accessible to all.

During a congregational meeting, this idea received unanimous support, and plans were set in motion. The CCUMC was very grateful for the outpouring of support from their congregation during the funding phase where members generously contributed to the designated fund. With the help of a $3,000 grant from Methodists Helping Methodists, the cost of the project was covered and the restroom was built.

CCUMC’s pastor, Carol Layton, has observed the convenience and joy experienced by the clients and customers of the food bank and thrift shop. She’s grateful CCUMC is now able to better serve the community and focus on other impactful initiatives such as school supply drives for families and snack drives for the school in town. While a goal of the church is to serve current members of the congregation, CCUMC has made it clear they care about the community as a whole and have broadened their reach through events like free concerts and welcoming Easter services. It hasn’t happened over night, but Crawford Community United Methodist Church has become a vital part of the community by re-thinking the way they serve God’s people.

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