Ark Refuge Ministries celebrates new solar panels with ribbon-cutting ceremony – LaGrange Daily News

Cole Trahan
The LaGrange Daily News

On Thursday morning, community members and project leaders gathered at Ark Refuge Ministries for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the nonprofit’s new solar panels.

The installation resulted from a collaboration between Ark Refuge Ministries and three other organizations – Groundswell, Solar Tyme USA and The Solutions Project.

“We are a nonprofit and our mission is to build community power,” said Michelle Moore, CEO of Groundswell. “And we are implementing the SOUL program [to] Saving energy in the long term in cooperation with the city of LaGrange … We were very grateful to work with Jonnell Minefee from Solar Tyme. “

The solution project financed the installation. According to Groundswell’s website, The Solutions Project is “a national not-for-profit organization working with Groundswell to accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy and equitable access to healthy air, water and soil by supporting climate justice organizations.”

Moore stated that the solar panels will help the Ark Refuge Ministries save money to get them back on their mission.

“And it’s also a great way to support local businesses – local black women owned businesses – just to demonstrate how the LaGrange community and Calumet community can benefit from a clean energy future,” said Moore.

At around 11:30 am, everyone went to one side of the building where the new panels were visible on the roof. Most of them posed for a photo shoot behind the ceremonial ribbon. Ark Refuge CEO and co-founder Yvonne Lopez snapped giant scissors.

“I don’t think Groundswell is getting enough recognition,” said Nathan Gaskin, LaGrange City Councilor, during a brief speech. “I don’t think the Ark Refuge Ministry gets enough recognition, and I don’t think the city of LaGrange gets enough recognition for how we inspire generations to think outside the box, work together, and create a better, more sustainable society . “

LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton recalled a call to Tim Echols, the Georgia civil service commissioner.

“He knows about the work of Groundswell,” Thornton said. “He knows about the important work we are doing here in LaGrange and along the Ray Highway etc. in the area of ​​sustainability. And I was able to tell him that I would come today to do this installation. He was very excited about it. The next time he comes to LaGrange, maybe it will be an opportunity for me to bring Commissioner Echols to see the installation … ”

According to Lopez, Ark Refuge Ministries primarily helps men who are homeless, struggling with substance abuse, or being released from prison.

“We offer them a safe, holistic place to change their lives and get back on track,” she said.

“We provide shelter, transportation, we find them work … it’s a Christ-centered ministry, so we have a lot of Bible study.”

The organization also participates in community projects for the elderly and serves hot lunches to homeless men, women and children every day.

In addition, a mental health program was recently launched in partnership with Pathways.

According to Lopez, Ark Refuge Ministries has been in the community for over 30 years.

“My husband started it over 30 years ago. He died six years ago and I carried it on. “

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