Nearly 100 years old, the Ruth M Smith Center began its ministry as an orphanage. When the need for an orphanage ended in the late 1960’s, the facility changed
focus to provide treatment for troubled youth, one step before those youth might be sent to a “reformatory.” Beginning about 1982 a shift in government support led to the development of the Smith Center’s current outreach as a Personal Care Home facility for elderly adults and those with Intellectual and/or physical impairments.
Located in the rural village of Sheffield in Kane District, this place provides assistance to those who need care beyond the basic necessities of food and shelter, but do not require intermediate or skilled nursing care. In addition, the ministry of Smith Center extends to Day Care and Preschool for children from the surrounding area.
Owned by the United Methodist Women but supported by United Methodists across the conference, 24 of 25 residents who live at the Center cannot pay full fees. Their benevolent care is supported by donations, fund raising and grants.
”I hope you all enjoy the family time and think about Giving Tuesday on Black Friday (and save some money!),” wrote Ed Kennedy, Finance Committee Chair of the Ruth M Smith Center. Ed was challenging the Development Committtee to think outside the box as we ponder the ministry of the Smith Center and how to keep it going. Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27 is a day designated for donations to favorite causes. Since many United Methodists still give the old fashioned way (mail a check), it would be helpful for pastors to include an announcement in their church bulletins Sunday reminding members of the ministry provided by the Smith Center within our conference boundaries.
The importance of the Smith Center to those who live there is summed up by Karen McIntyre, one of the younger residents. She declared, “Of all the places I have lived, this feels like home.”
Checks can be mailed to the Ruth M Smith Center, 407 South Main Street, PO Box 576, Sheffield, PA 16347.