HERMITAGE – Amiee Mathews was chosen as a Buhl Day honored guest because she founded The Building of Hope Ministry in February 2017, which delivers donated household items to area residents in need.
Mathews, 46, of Hermitage, said she was surprised to even be nominated as an honored guest.
“It’s just very humbling,” Mathews said. “I was born and raised in this area and just to give back to the community. I feel like it is our job to do that.”
Matthews said she started The Building of Hope Ministry non-profit as a “little thing on the side.” To this date, the ministry has helped more than 950 families with basic furniture and household items.
The ministry assists people — including the working poor, single moms and dads, and grandparents raising their grandchildren — who have fallen on difficult times.
“We just give them a hand up,” Mathews said. “We show them the love of Christ through our actions and we give them the basic necessities that everybody needs to start out.”
Mathews said a lot of her clients usually will have first month’s rent and security deposit, but do not have any resources to put into the residence.
“Here we are four years later and a thousand beds later that we’ve given out to the community,” Mathews said. “It’s something a lot of us take for granted.”
Working in home health physical therapy, Mathews saw the community needs. She came across a grandmother who took in her four grandchildren after the father was incarcerated, which left their mother unable to care for them. On a fixed income, the grandmother did not have money to buy the children beds.
Mathews asked a couple of her friends and used Facebook as a platform to help out.
“The community came together to help out four years ago,” Mathews said. “Then everybody kept calling me and saying, ‘I have a microwave, do you want it?’”
So Mathews started storing donated items in a two-car garage and New Life Baptist Church took the program under its wing.
“I still kind of giggle about where we’re at right now,” Mathews said. “How many people we’ve been able to bless and it takes a whole team of people. I’m just the organizer.”
The organization works fully on donations. They receive financial donations through Laskey’s Furniture in Sharon, which provide the beds and through the church, and grants through the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.
The rest of the furniture is gently used, donated from the community.
People can contact The Building of Hope through Facebook or by calling 724-979-3251.
Mathews attended the former St. Joseph School in Sharon and graduated from Sharon High School in 1993. She is married to Chad with three teenagers, Emilee, 17; Allee, 15; and Luke, 13.
Buhl Day means a lot to her and her family.
“It means community – just giving back,” Mathews said. “The Buhls have just given us this beautiful park with so many things to do.”
Mathews’ entire family volunteers with The Building of Hope. They also volunteer at Meals of Wheels and with the Community Food Warehouse.
“We’ve been blessed and we’ve been called to bless others,” Mathews said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first story in The Herald’s preview coverage of Buhl Day on Sept. 6. On Sept. 3, The Herald will feature honorees Patty and Bryan Norris. The preview will wrap up Sept. 4, with stories about honorees Stacey and Brett Walberg and Walberg Pharmacy.