Anonymous Relief Mission offers summer volunteer opportunities

Alison Ritchie

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Pastor Scott Budzar couldn’t sleep.

Five years ago, he helped a father and four children move from a homeless shelter into an empty apartment. All of their possessions fit into a couple of trash bags, and the knowledge of a family in need kept Budzar up that night.

The following evening, Budzar asked his congregation at The Vineyard Community Church, where he served as pastor for 10 years, to find items to donate. Within an hour, they collected an abundance of furniture, food, clothes and other household appliances to give to that family.

“As we left that night, it dawned on me that this was our true calling,” Budzar said in an e-mail interview. “I knew in my heart that this was the right thing to do.”

Last December, Budzar closed The Vineyard Community Church and opened The A.R.M. House a month later at the same location. Anonymous Relief Mission is a non-profit organization that helps move individuals, families, victims of domestic violence and veterans from shelters to housing and provides them with basic necessitates. It also operates a food bank. A.R.M has given assistance in nearly 500 cases similar to the first one.

“We wanted to create an atmosphere were anyone could serve and anyone could help their community,” said Joshua Muller, an A.R.M. volunteer.

Muller said he has volunteered for several food banks in addition to doing mission work, but he said A.R.M. is unique. He said he is impressed with the organization’s ability to help those who are in need.

“A lot of those groups have a lot of red tape that sometimes hinder the work from actually getting done,” Muller said. “When money is stretched as thin as it is, it’s important that it goes to the right people who really need it.”

Although the idea for the organization stemmed from a church, Muller said A.R.M. does not have any religious affiliation. He said many of the staff members are Christians, but the group itself does not carry a religious label.

Budzar said A.R.M. is simply a tool for the community.

“It has no agenda other than to be humble and servant-minded,” he said. “It brings people together for a common purpose. We are not one church or one creed. We have a respect for one another that allows for any racial, creedal or distinctive barriers to be brought down for the sake of those desperately in need.”

The organization depends on donations, and Budzar said food and toiletry items are needed the most.

Muller said A.R.M could use more volunteers, especially over the summer. He said volunteers could help sort donated items as they come in. They would also help collect items and distribute them. Muller said volunteers could get a set schedule or help as needed.

“It’s a good system, but it takes a lot of hands,” said Muller. “It would be great to have more people, and it’s a great way to get involved.”?Anyone interested in volunteering can go to the website,, or call 330-677-0722.

Contact Alison Ritchie at [email protected].