What is Thrive 10:10?
You may have heard people talk about Ruth’s Boutique and Thrive 10:10. Some have asked some questions about the program, so I thought I’d share a bit.
Ruth’s Boutique was developed to help women who were unable to afford hygiene products and it was an amazing addition to the ministry of Girard First United Methodist. Though I was not a part of its development, I am so proud to say that I watched that process and it was a beautiful one. It was planned and developed and then many of the women in the church rallied around this ministry and made it very successful.
Out of that program, through time, we have found some ways to expand on that beautiful foundation. We were looking for a way to have the ministry of the church grow and become available to more people throughout our area. This is how Thrive 10:10 was developed. Thrive 10:10 was formed as a 501c-3 entity that rents the boutique and their offices in Girard First United Methodist Church. Thrive 10:10’s main purpose is to connect residents of the Mahoning Valley to economic, educational and social opportunities through relationships. Only when we have relationships will we have earned the right to speak into participant’s lives.
Through Ruth’s Boutique, participants and volunteers connect in the boutique while shopping, but also develop relationships over food. Our partners in the community have embraced our mission by donating products and food as well. There have been over 180 hours donated by our volunteers in 2022 alone and we are gaining momentum with our volunteer base. We have a variety of ages involved in volunteer activities from high school and college students to retired teachers and everything in between. Our volunteers range from people who attend Girard First to people who attend no church, but want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Our sustainability is our people and what they bring to the table. We can expand because of the buy-in they have given us. Our volunteers work diligently to prepare for our participants to have the best experience possible. Setting up the boutique to be elegant and pretty as well as ensuring that we have the food and beverages to satisfy our participants is our greatest goal. Through this, we allow our participants to truly feel welcome and therefore we are able to invest in their lives. We have partnered with YSU, Help Network Of Northeast Ohio, Mahoning Valley Mobile Market, New Day Recovery Center and others and we continue to build relationships to meet a diverse population’s needs…right where they are.
The driving force of Thrive 10:10 and its goals are to present relief, recovery and restoration to the Mahoning Valley. Ruth's Boutique is a part of this process by meeting the basic need of the moment: shampoo, hygiene products, etc. The additional items that make a woman feel confident are a part of the individual evolution we want to be a part of. We also offer a Lunch and Learn component to the Boutique where we have local professionals and experts share a quick talk about their discipline. We have had a psychiatrist and OB/GYN nurse practitioner come in to speak of the importance of health in their respective specialties. We will see sustainable change as those who would like to further their growth can be referred to our program Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ By World. This is a well-regarded curriculum that is considered a promising practice used at YSU and other institutions in the past and will launch in 2023. Sherry Steiner, Cindy Williams, Pastor Vicky Kelley and Meghan DeGregory are Certified as Facilitators. This program allows participants to investigate their strengths and the community resources available so they can better access these things and remove barriers to growth in their personal lives.
The program removes barriers from participation by offering a stipend for attending each of the 16 classes, a meal for the participant and their children, childcare and transportation if needed. Because these needs are met for the time of the class, the participant can truly engage in the program and therefore receive all of the benefit it has to give. Looking forward, Thrive 10:10 will be adding in other programs and continuing the work that Ruth’s Boutique started. We cannot wait to see what great things come!