by Geoff Fox
After two years of being closed for public use, Interfaith Service Coalition will be reopening Martha’s House on Monday, March 14.
Martha’s House, located at 47-49 West Main Street, takes its name from Martha of Bethany in the New Testament of the Bible who, along with her siblings, was friends with Jesus and made sure people had food and refreshment.
It’s a place geared toward the youth of Hancock where they can do activities as well as a place of refreshment and fellowship.
The first event will be a celebration of March birthdays, however everyone is able to come celebrate. These birthday celebrations have been and will be monthly activities.
Interfaith Service Coalition Director Debbie Cohill said with COVID numbers down, it’s time to re-open Martha’s House.
“That’s what we were waiting for,” she said.
Masking in schools has ben relaxed and now ISC feels comfortable re-opening the activity center.
Cohill added they were closely following what the schools were doing.
Between the early stages of the pandemic and now, Martha’s House had been closed to all activities. However, there had been some private events taking place inside.
The space inside is ready to go once it re-opens on March 14, Cohill said.
Throughout the last two years, Cohill said the windows of Martha’s House have been maintained to reflect the seasons or events in town.
“It’s important to us that our building on Main Street look nice, so we had it decorated appropriately for Christmas, and then snowmen after Christmas, and now we have a festive St. Patrick’s Day display in the windows,” she said.
There has been a constant inquiry through social media asking when Martha’s House would re-open.
“It was very difficult to keep it closed because people were saying the kids really need this,” Cohill said.
While they recognized that need, ISC and Martha’s House had to put the children’s health first.
Cohill said knowing the kids would go home to other family members who could become ill, they erred on the side of safety to keep Martha’s House closed and be a good neighbor to everyone.
The unanimous decision to re-open Martha’s House came during ISC’s February board meeting.
Cohill said when the doors open next Monday, it’s “back to business” with Martha’s House and there won’t be any changes on what would be done.
After the birthday party next Monday, Cohill said ISC is lining things up with the Girl Scout Troops who have been a community partner over the years and also Hancock Assembly of God who had established using Martha’s House once a month.
She also noted ISC is open to hearing from other churches and community groups who have ideas and want to use Martha’s House to partner on events.
This includes a movie night, which will also be restarting again.
Movies nights start with a meal, followed by a current release movie and popcorn, and possibly even ice cream afterwards.
Cohill also said they are going to try and restart the Saturday morning breakfasts where community groups come in and be guest chefs and servers. In the past, the Hancock Police Department, Fire Department, and Rescue Squad have all taken part.
Cohill recently posted a notice on a variety of social media pages announcing the re-opening and has gotten a lot of support.
“People are excited,” she said. “Martha’s House is just a great spot for kids and families.”
When Martha’s House was designed, it was specifically designed to have a space out front with seating and a TV so parents would stay and wait for their children instead of dropping them off and leaving.
Once everything is up and running again at Martha’s House, events will be on a set schedule, Cohill said.