Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Welcome to The River Ministry for Women


The River. A place where women come to listen, learn, laugh...and wash clothes.

The River
125 West Main Street
Johnson City, TN 37604
(423) 926-8111
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Director: Stacy Larsen @ stacylp@charter.net

The River's Mission

The mission of The River is to create a safe place for all women to wash clothes and learn new ways to care for themselves and family through non-threatening hands on activities with a Christ-centered approach. The River provides a variety of services and a place for women to share life stories and prayer. As services are used, relationships are formed that allow us to assist them in all aspects of their lives. Like Jesus, we meet each woman where she is in life without judgement- just love and support. For some women, The River is a stepping stone to self-sufficiency. For most women, The River assists in meeting basic needs on a daily basis in a community of Christ. It is our hope that The River can bring new life!

Creation of The River

The idea for The River originated over a decade ago when Betsy Beaver was involved in a mother's Bible study group at First Presbyterian Church in Johnson City. "I thought other women could benefit from having a place to come together and talk and learn from one another," Beaver said. In 2004 a River Team was formed and with the help of church and community members The River was transformed from an empty and forgotten building in downtown Johnson City to a special place for women. The River opened its doors on October 4, 2004 and has served over 750 women and children.
Services Available at The River
  • Women may wash 2 loads of laundry a day (we provide the detergent, bleach, stain remover and fabric softener sheets) for a quarter total. With the quarters, the woman are paying for their services, and learning to give because all quarters are donated to local charities. All laundry must be started by 1:00 p.m. and is first-come, first-served.
  • The River is the only public place where a woman can take a shower in Johnson City during the daytime. We provide towels and travel-sized toiletries for each shower. Showers are first-come, first-served and no showers after 2:30 p.m.
  • The River has daily devotions each morning at 9:30 a.m. This is a time of short Bible study and prayer. Each participant can share joys or concerns and each devotion ends with a group prayer. On the first Wednesday of each month, Pastor Louis Imsande of First Presbyterian Church performs devotions and communion is offered. We also have a "God Spot" Prayer Room where women can spend time alone with God.
  • The River has a variety of events available each month for our guests. The Joyful Noise River Choir meets every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and sings at local churches, events, or nursing homes. Hearts and Hands meets the second and fourth Wednesday from 10-12 and offers the women the opportunity to work on craft projects ranging from flower pins to spiritual journals. The River also holds classes on cooking, sewing, health issues, and independent living skills.
  • The second Monday of the month is free haircut day from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Hair cuts are first-come, first served. We always have hair, nail and skin care products available in the salon area for primping! Everyone wants to look good!
  • The River has a community garden that works on the "Little Red Hen" system: if you plant it, you get part of the harvest. We plant vegetables, herbs, and flowers and we also have the Martha Chase Memorial Garden where women can sit amongst the flowers and pray and enjoy nature.
  • The River is able to share information about available community services that meet the needs of the women and children we serve. In addition, we provide a phone, a writing center to mail letters, computers, exercise equipment, sewing machines, irons, and an address for those that are homeless.
  • Most importantly, The River offers love, support, friendships, and a safe haven for the women we serve.

Share a Helping Hand at The River


1. Time: Be a worker for the Lord serving at The River. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Stacy Larsen at 423-926-111.

2. Donate Money: Make a donation in honor or in memory of a loved one, or in support of The River. Please make checks or Money Orders payable to: The River- First Presbyterian Church and mail it to The River 125 West Main Street, Johnson City, TN 37604. All donations are tax-deductible. Consider The River in your long-term planning.

3. Pray: Please keep The River, our guests, and volunteers in your daily prayers.

4. Donate Items: We always need: Liquid Laundry Detergent, Bleach, Stain Remover, Fabric Softener SHEETS ONLY, Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Lysol Wipes, Garbage Bags, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Individually Wrapped Snacks, Spray Deodorant, Liquid Hand Soap, Creamer, Sweetener, Razors, Shaving Cream, and Cleaning Supplies. Items may be brought to The River during hours of Operation.

5. Share a Skill: Do you have a special talent or skill to share with the ladies of The River? Please contact Stacy Larsen at 423-926-8111 to set up a class or event.




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