Archway recovery impressive

Archway Ministries tries to help people in need, as demonstrated by its food bank, counseling, activities for seniors, tutoring for children and Thanksgiving dinner, as well as other programs and initiatives.

But while acknowledging at this time its commitment to betterment of the community and area people, it’s also important to take notice of and voice praise for those who have stepped forward to help during the months since Archway unexpectedly found itself in need of great assistance.

It was in February that the Archway Ministries church at Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue received major damage when water, released as a result of a frozen waterline, destroyed ceilings, carpeting, tile and the building’s furnace.

It’s still not known whether freezing of the pipe resulted from an upper-floor zone of the heating system having been set too low, or whether the furnace malfunctioned. Regardless, the problem wasn’t detected for an extended period of time.

There undoubtedly would have been much more damage if a neighbor, walking his dog, had not noticed water seeping from under a door.

Fortunately, he knew who to notify as the first step to getting the situation under control.

Nevertheless, Archway found itself with a major task and uncertain future.

It was a situation that would have been challenging even for some larger congregations or organizations.

But word of Archway’s plight reached the right ears. And, typical of the helping-hand attitude so often visible in Altoona, Blair County and other parts of central Pennsylvania, people showed up to help Archway rid itself of the damage, to enable it to look forward to a not-too-distant new beginning.

Those who mobilized on Archway’s behalf included members of other area churches, as well as nearby residents who knew of Archway’s existence but who were unfamiliar with it and its work.

A number of area businesses also helped.

Meanwhile, Archway sought to help itself by way of fundraisers.

As an article in the May 15 Mirror reported, not all of the repair work has been completed; achieving that goal still is a couple of months away.

But resumption of most activities won’t have to wait until all of that work has been finalized. Start-ups are expected to take place prior to then.

Actually, despite the damage it incurred, Archway never did halt its food bank; a truck was placed into service immediately after the flooding, to continue that mission.

It’s reasonable to assume that the personal satisfaction Archway’s “saviors” have derived from their notable efforts will, in the future, guide them to help others dealing with setbacks.

But Archway, those whom it serves and those who have helped — and are continuing to help — in its recovery aren’t likely to forget all that bitterly cold February day wreaked.

Still, all will take note that the destruction of that day was powerless in terms of ending the good works that are Archway’s foundation.

Archway Ministries is on its way back, poised to be better and more effective in its various missions than it’s ever been.