Willie’s advice to others and his younger self is profound for those who are in their own despair or in their own aloneness. He understands that you can still feel alone even if you are surrounded by lots of other people. He says. “Find things to do that make you feel better. Know how to do things and take care of yourself. If you can find something to do you can help others that need help. No way is blocked. I come too far from where I started, nobody told me that the road would be easy but I come too far just to turn around.” Willie likes to quote the old spirituals. He went on to say, “It explains that this earthly world is not our home. It is only temporary. Our forever has yet to come.”

People who encounter Willie discover that he loves to sing. He does it loud and proud. It is obvious to all that the Spirit is in him as he is raising his voice up in praise. “I feel the Spirit upon me. That’s why I sing with the tune and everything.”

He always has a smile and a chuckle to share. “I’ll tell you why I’m [at Cherry Street]. I’m here because during the day it gives me purpose. I get up in the morning and I come to stay and be safe. I don’t have to be bothered by bad people. I’m telling you. It’s not lonely. We can look around and watch the people. There’s always something to do,” says Willie.

Willie has been walking this path for a while. Willie wishes he could go back in time and tell himself to take better care of himself. He wishes he could be more positive back then.

“God has been with me. God has been walking with me. Teaching me. Showing me which way to go. And to think positive and to get a good understanding and to learn how to take heed. Man will let you down. And a man will fail. But God will put a human in front of you to lift you up too,” proclaimed Willie.

While Willie is staying at Cherry Street he has a safe place to stay as he moves toward an independent life.  Your support to Cherry Street allows for the needs of a man like Willie to be met.  You can make a difference in the life like Willie’s; being a human who can lift another up, by making your donation today.


How do you define Success? Here at Cherry Street Mission we define it as a person-a guest we will call Jeff.  Jeff has a huge, giving heart. He learned the art of giving early in life from his loving mother. After she suffered a devastating stroke, he lovingly cared for her. Thanks to his mother, Jeff was raised as a Christian, was baptized, confirmed, and born again. He knows that he has pushed away many good, positive influences in his life; he recognizes that he has made poor choices in his past. But more importantly, Jeff knows that those bad decisions do not dictate who he is. He believes that “Everyone has one God-given ability, and that ability is to change for the better and to be better than the day before.” That is what he has been doing while a guest at Cherry Street Mission-changing for the better. Jeff has a short and long term goal that he will achieve—to see his beloved mother, and his much loved girlfriend who died suddenly, in Heaven. He knows that he has not led a perfect life, but, as he says, “I do what I need to do to ensure that I will meet them in Heaven.”  Changing, goal-setting, working toward those goals—that gives Jeff and the staff at Cherry Street Mission a lot to cheer about. And we are.

What’s The Cost?

The cost for a day can be measured in many ways.

Hungry For Change

Letter from Ann Ebbert

In these days of struggle, it’s easy to see the deep feelings that many of us have. To be pulled one way and another by emotion and our heavy hearts. And, it’s good to “feel all those feels”. God’s depth of intolerance for injustice is built into our image. It’s right and just to be horrified by innocent death and it’s appropriate to be disturbed by violence and destruction.

This is why we are hungry for change at Cherry Street. The kind of change that comes from living in a society that is made right by eliminating the stumbling blocks that many people must climb over. Also, the kind of change that comes from exposing people to fact that they can choose the life of freedom that can be lived in the Kingdom. The individuals that we have the honor to work beside every day in our ministry are bridging the gap between a system that breeds inequality to accessing resources and change in their lives. They are developing the tools to enter a new life, better prepared to navigate the road ahead. We strive to make not only their navigation clearer, but also to make the path; that each person has to navigate; smoother by intersecting with our community and systems in an effort to enact real lasting change. As a part of Cherry Street, you labor alongside us to make the high places low and the low places high.

I long for a day where our community has full freedom to live out their gifts and full freedom to live independently. Through God and The Word, may it be so.

Giving As a Matter Of Faith

Barb and her husband have been long time donors to Cherry Street.  They are keeping themselves busy but also isolated during the pandemic.  But even during these strange times, they have the care of others on their mind.  “We believe in God’s gift of Life. None of us gets to choose where or when or to whom we are born or what is in front of us. But we do get to choose and make choices along the way. Sometimes we are not always given the tools to make good choices.  Cherry Street is giving people the opportunity to use better tools to make better choices,” proclaimed Barb.

They have identified with 1st Thessalonians 4:1-12 as a life verse.

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.  . . . 11and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

As an encouragement to others Barb and Mark wished to share with those who are struggling a reminder to keep focus on the right things.  Barb said, “The virus has stripped away a lot of distractions to reveal brokenness in all of our lives. I have thought about things that other generations have gone through. I have thought about what our parents went through during the depression and the war years. All those years later my parents were still rationing and yet my mom had a terrific attitude. I think it’s important to remember that other people, other times, other places have gotten through troubling times by the grace of God. The grace of God is there for us every day. And it will continue to be there. It Is our Hope. We can look back on those stories and they will give us hope.”

Donate to Cherry Street and cut your tax bill


The Cares Act creates a new above-the-line deduction for up to $300 of charitable cash contributions in 2020. This right off is only available to people who take the standard deduction. The law also suspended the 60%-of-AGI limit on cash donations to charities for people who itemize. You’re a charitable person. You’ve supported causes near and dear to your heart, like Cherry Street, for as long as you can remember. And quite frankly you also used to get a tax deduction for your charitable giving. You don’t donate just to get a tax break, but it’s nice to give and save money at the same time.

Scam Alert

Cherry Street has received reports of people pretending to collect donations on behalf of Cherry Street Mission Ministries. They claim to be collecting funds for the mission by selling roses or asking for cash or gift cards for an upcoming fundraiser. Please do not provide personal information, money or goods to anyone unless you absolutely trust the source. Representatives from Cherry Street will always have credentials and would not ask a stranger for cash donations in public places; like a restaurant. Should someone come to your establishment and you have concerns, feel free to ask them to leave, call Cherry Street or call the police. If you have questions, feel free to contact Cherry Street Mission Ministries at 419.214.3007.

Cherry Street Appoints Ann Ebbert as CEO/President

For four and a half years, Ann Ebbert has been serving as a leader at Cherry Street.  The organization has announced that Ebbert will take over the role of CEO/President officially.  During the past several months, Ebbert has been fulfilling the duties and tasks needed for the organization and has been providing leadership to staff.  In this time, services have gone on without interruption and the organization has faced the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ann’s agreement to be the CEO brings peace to me and the other board members.  I know God is in these plans and timing.  Ann has demonstrated her ability to lead over the past 18 months during transition and I am confident in her leadership skills.  Furthermore, we have much confidence in the team she has assembled”, said Don Smucker, Board President.

Josh Rochon, board vice president shared his pleasure as well by saying, “The board and Ann share the same vision of the mission.  As Cherry Street explores innovative ways to address poverty, we believe Ann brings the perfect mix of vision, strategy and execution for the next chapter of our mission’s history.”

Ebbert brings decades of experience to Cherry Street from the secular world, church leadership and strong ministry skills.  Her appointment is a clear reflection of the organization’s philosophy: ready to deeply engage the community, providing greater access to services and innovating ways to work in the lives of others.  Ebbert has been with Cherry Street since 2015 and has a rich background in ministry.  Having worked in ministry and the health care industry, Ann brings a foundation of logistics, running a 24/365 care facility, business operations, administration, organizational structure, developing leadership in others and purposeful discipleship. Her experience in the health care industry has set her up well to work at Cherry Street.  Transitioning clients into a stable life are very similar processes.

Ann is originally from Bryan, OH and has lived in the region all her adult life.  She is married to Scott Ebbert for the past 31 years.  Together they are dog parents to Montie, a terrier.  Scott and Ann like to be outdoors, hiking, fly fishing, kayaking or gardening.  Ann always has a book she is reading and likes a diverse variety of book topics.

Passing of the Baton

Board chair Don Smucker will be vacating his spot after 16 years of service.  Taking over the chairperson position will be Josh Rochon.  They have had a decades long friendship.  As Don departs and Josh takes over the role, they were asked to each reflect on the other person.

Reminiscing, Don has so many good memories over the 16 years he has served the Cherry Street board. “I think one of the most outstanding things that has been impressed on me; that I will miss the most; is truly seeing God’s hands at work in real time. When there is a need within the ministry; if we as a board and as a ministry have relied on God to provide and ask Him to provide and giving Him credit for His provision; God has been faithful at every turn- to honor those requests and to over provide our expectations”, Don shared.

Don is secure in the next leader on the board saying, “I have known Josh from his teenage years . . .  I know foundationally he is a very solid Christian.”  Following the vision that God has cast is a task Josh is well suited for according to Don. “One of the things I’ve learned about Josh over the years is that he takes ideas, thoughts and input from others.  Then he tries to anticipate what is needed in advance. He listens to the Lord for insight and waits for the spiritual leading to motivate and guide him,” said Don.

As Josh took on the role of vice-chair Don had been mentoring him along the way. Josh explained Don’s leadership style as a help to him personally and to the community.  “[Don] is extremely generous to people and always looking to help and serve people,’ said Josh. “I’ve seen him mentor people professionally and in his service at Cherry Street”.  Josh continued to share his admiration,” I am so grateful and thankful for our friendship. Grateful for a relationship together. I am thankful for the time he has spent with me. I do feel like there are big shoes to fill. Don has brought a lot of experience and expertise. And I really appreciate his spiritual leadership.”

The community can look forward to a continuance in the service to those who are the most vulnerable.  Josh laid out three items he is excited about at Cherry Street. “I think this is an exciting time. I look at the way we are delivering our services and I think that we are number one in the great privilege of the being able to stand on the shoulders of those who have stood before us. We can reach higher and we can do more because of the foundation that has been laid for us. Secondly, the vision has been cast and now we get to do to the work. I’m so grateful and thankful for a loyal community who has rallied around us and bought into the vision and the mission of Cherry Street. Third and certainly not least, I’m m so proud of our staff too. They bring a wealth of professionalism with great expertise.”

Cherry Street wishes to thank both men for their considerable time and passion through the years.