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Mission's Lights Pushed On

Mission's Lights Pushed On image Mission's Lights Pushed On image
Parent Issue
Day
8
Month
October
Year
1976
OCR Text

The lights are on again at Mother Waddies' Perpetual Mission, thanks to the efforts of Operation PUSH (People United To SaveHumanity) and Mildred Gates, Rep. Don Riegle's senatorial campaign coördinator. The Mission on Gratiot, which distributes free clothing and food to the needy, had been without light or power for several days after Detroit Edison cut off service for nonpayment of a $12,000 electricity bill, accumulated over the past year. PUSH Director Bob Coverson was in Washington, D.C. conferring with Rep. Riegle on unrelated matters when a cali carne in from the senatorial candidate'sDetroit office. Ms. Gates, alarmed that Mother Waddies' Mission had been plunged into darkness by the Edison decisión, wanted to know what could be done to help. When they got back to Detroit, Coverson and PUSH volunteer David Laster first huddled with Mother Waddies to ascertain the details of her problem, then met with Detroit Edison spokesperson Beatrice Banks- the lady who turns the switch on and off. Coverson pleaded Mtfther Waddies' case, pointing out that she "works and succeeds against difficult odds, even in the light, but in the dark she is unable even to opérate her kitchen." Banks conceded that Mother Waddies "is doing a fine job" but insisted that "there is no way we coüld turn her service on, not even for a day, unless we get some money." Coverson explained that there was no cash available, but that if Edison would restore lights and power to the Mission, Operation PUSH would accept responsibility for the Mission's indebtedness td Edison and would work with Mother Waddies over the next 30 days to establish proper accounting and business procedures throughout her operation. (continued on page 4) Mfssfon's LightsPUSHedOn ( continue d f rom page 3) This would prevent future problems of a similar nature from occurring, Coverson said, and in the meantime Mother Waddies could go on feeding and clothing the hungry and poor. Operation PUSH has been working on similar problems throughout the country, helping people survive when most have given up. The group, headed by Rev. Jesse Jackson, helps people and groups with their problems involving labor, employment, education and housing. "We're glad we were able to provide Mother Waddies with the assistance she needed in a very trying moment," Coverson told The Sun. "The difficult tasks we're able to do right away, but the impossible take a while longer." Operation PUSH will get back logether with Detroit Edison and Mother Waddies near the end of the month and review their arrangements. Meanwhile, the Mission's needy supplicants have a new lease on life.