Job corps providing hope, home to woman

Dreams do come true, just ask local resident Mary Witkowski. Witkowski entered the Spring of Siloam Christian Women’s Job Corps this fall and has received training in various areas. According to Tina Buchanan, director of Spring of Siloam, Witkowski will be entering classes at Howard College this upcoming semester. “This is a big project that will end up putting into the community,” Buchanan said. Witkowski has spent her adult life as a caregiver for her mother and grandmother, which has hindered her from being able to find work outside the home. Due to lack of work outside the home, her job training has been limited. However, since entering the program she has been receiving job training skills in the area of computers. The community program provided by Spring of Siloam is aimed at enabling women to receive the needed training to get them out of poverty. In order to help further Witkowski in accomplishing her goals, the City of Big Spring and the men of Spring Creek Fellowship have volunteered to help with the project of building Witkowski a new home. Her previous dwelling, in the 400 block of Nolan, belonged to her mother and was considered to be beyond repair, according to Buchanan.“Since she entered the program a need was discovered which has since been taken under the wing of members of the church and several other volunteers,” Buchanan said. As part of the project, the city of Big Spring has started demolishing Witkowski’s house in order for a new 576 square-foot home. The house will include a bedroom, living room, kitchen, utility area and bathroom. Due to the large nature of the project, donations are being requested. “She didn’t tell us about her situation, but we were able to find out through our volunteers,” Derrick Looney, of Spring of Siloam, said. “We believe in providence and that God opened the doors for us to do something that makes a statement.”He continued, “It’s not just about us, but we have an opportunity to act on our faith. After all the Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive.”At this point, the project volunteers are in need of monetary donations which will be used for lumber and other building materials. Volunteers however won’t be turned away according to Looney. “We (Spring Creek Fellowship) is kind of taking the lead, but this is really a joint effort of several churches and groups. We may not all go to the same church, but this is a way we can all come together for a good cause,” Loonoey said. “Especially it being Christmas time. It’s not only about going to church, but about being the church.”Due to recent weather, the building schedule has been set back a bit, but according to Looney, the project should be able to be completed within four workdays. The slab that will serve as the foundation has been donated and just has to be put in place once the house is able to be demolished completely. After the slab has been installed, the rest of the house will be able to be constructed. “We hope this serves as encouragement to others to look for a way they can help others. Hopefully, it will bring people, including myself, to be more attentive to the needs in our community,” Looney said. “This isn’t about us, it’s just that we get to do it this time.”For those wanting to donate to the project, send donations to Spring Creek Fellowship, P.O. Box 2070, Big Spring, Texas 79721 or 702 Johnson Street, Big Spring, Texas 79720. Donations should be marked as “Mary Witkowski Benevolence Fund.” The next semester for the Christian Women’s Job Corps will be beginning in January. Applications are being taken at this point and an interview process will be conducted to determine those qualified for the program. “This has been a well kept secret, but the ministry is growing,” Looney said. For those wanting to find out more information about the job corps or to volunteer, call Spring Creek Fellowship at 714-4584. Also to find out more about how to help the project for Mary Witkowski, call Looney at 432-935-3036 or the Spring Creek Fellowship office. Contact Staff Writer Amanda Moreno at 263-7331 ext. 234 or by e-mail at