Unite Sussex looks to unite Sussex

Unite Sussex will hold its second “town hall”-type meeting on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. at the CHEER Center in Georgetown. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the Rev. Kim Tephabock of Dagsboro Church of God spoke about the group at this week’s Frankford town council meeting, inviting the town to send a representative to the forum.

“What we are doing is trying to provide a patriotic response to the economic crises,” said Tephabock.

“The problems become complex for people, and we are seeing the breakdown of marriages and problems with children and people giving up hope,” Tephabock said. He said everyone knows someone who has lost a job or is in need of medical services they can’t afford, or who has lost their house, or has come close to losing their house. He said he was inspired to do more after speaking at a funeral of a young man who had taken his life.

“It is not a political movement. It’s about bringing people together and sharing what we have,” Tephabock said in Selbyville on Nov. 2.

He offered that the churches want the elected officials to know that, while they are not the entire solution, they can be part of it, and they are trying to build better relationships with county, state and local governments.

“We apologize for not doing a better job of doing it in the past,” he added.

Millville hosted the first of the three planned Unite Sussex forums this summer, and about 30 different care-giving associations were represented, as were state and local elected officials and 15 churches. Tephabock said that, while the effort is centered around southeastern Sussex, people in the Milford area had recently reached out and expressed interest in getting involved.

“It’s starting to become contagious,” he said.

Tephabock also said the need is tremendous, and people just sometimes need to be connected and hear that someone else cares – something Unite Sussex hopes to do: to spread hope to those who need it most.

“In an eight-hour period at WalMart, five of the people we spoke to broke down in tears,” he said, explaining that, when they hear it is supposed to be a resource for people who have lost jobs or their homes or who can’t pay bills, it hits home. “They said, ‘That’s me.’”

The town hall-style meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the CHEER Center in Georgetown on Thursday, Nov. 12. For more information, visit www.unitesussex.org.