In 2018, the Rev. Dale Dunning and her husband, Ken, have new plans for their evolving Jusst Sooup ministry on Cool Springs Road in Milton.
The Dunnings recently announced they will enclose the 85-foot-wide front porch of the church to create a private ministry room, and they are offering an opportunity for Jusst Sooup supporters to leave a permanent mark at the church.
“People are here at all hours, and they want to talk,” Dale said. “You want them to have some privacy and a nice, cozy, comfortable place where they can share. Community, I need your help!”
After consulting several builders, the lowest bid to enclose the under-used front porch was $40,000. Ken explained they arrived at a creative plan to raise the funds.
“We have 25 windows that will be going in the new ministry room and three doors,” he said. “A $1,000 donation will let you put a name on the window; a $5,000 donation will let you put a name on a door. These can be in memory of someone or in honor and they will become a part of our ministry room and church.”
As natives of the Cape Region, Dale and Ken agreed that over the 18-year tenure of Dale’s Jusst Sooup kitchen, the community has been generous in its support. The need is real, they said. Each Thursday, Ken said anywhere from 60 to more than 100 people fill the soup kitchen for a warm meal, fellowship, and frequently, they are seeking counsel from Dale.
“Our main goal is to feed people here,” Ken, said as he nodded ‘hello’ to some of the regular ‘sooupers’ who came in for lunch. “But often, people come here, and they need to talk.”
With the dining room and church often at capacity, Dale said it’s difficult for people to share their emotional stories in a room full of strangers.
A weekly Bible study is crowded into a small corner of the church when the soup kitchen is busy, Dale said. The back porch sees most of the traffic, and is frequently filled with donations, so they came up with a plan to make better use of the front porch.
The ministry is accepting donations of all sizes in person, online and via a gofundme page online at gofundme.com/enlarge-my-territory, Ken said.
“Five dollars or $10, everything helps,” he said. “Dale has never taken a salary, and all donations go back to the ministry.”
For more information, go to jusstsooup.org or call 302-644-8113.