Tyrand Parish's staff and volunteers follow the direction of Christ in serving the less fortunate. They are an important part of that story - directors' church and community workers, pastors, secretaries and volunteers all are important.
The parish's board of directors has representatives from the Roman Catholic, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Baptist, United Methodist and nondenominational churches.
In October 1998, Tyrand crossed another milestone in its history. Belinda Toms was hired as the ninth executive director after serving in other capacities at Tyrand since 1987. She was the first layperson and the first woman to serve as the director of Tyrand.
This original bunkhouse is called the ‘Tyrand Hilton’ by work teams.
The year 1998 brought changes in the organization's clothing store. After a week of renovations, the store reopened as Noah's Ark Thrift Store. After the change, it was the first time in Tyrand's history the the store started to make a profit. The store continues to meet the emergency clothing needs of the area, the general public is allowed to shop and that money helps fund the Tyrand programs.
In 1995, the parish members had to evaluate the home repair program to assess if it was still needed. In 2000, they had to make a hard decision about the home repair program because the barn where teams slept didn't meet building and fire codes.
The assessment was very helpful in realizing that area families still needed assistance with home repairs. The next step was to begin immediately securing funding to build a dormitory-style building to house work teams. Tyrand was blessed at the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church by being allowed to join in the Hope for Tomorrow Campaign. This campaign allowed Tyrand to solicit funds for the new building, called the Bunkhouse.
The dozer moved in on March 17, 2004, and the work began. On March 22, 2004, a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted, and by April 29, the drains had been installed and the block foundation and cement floor completed. On May 3, preparations for the walls began, and on May 6, the rafters were up. With the help of dedicated volunteers and board members, the work teams were able to stay in the new Bunkhouse by June 2005.
A dedication service for the new Bunkhouse was hosted April 15, 2007. Since then, the Bunkhouse not only serves as a place for the work teams, but several groups have used the facility for spiritual retreats, reunions and birthday and anniversary celebrations. Also, fundraiser dinners can now be hosted on site. Tyrand's Thanksgiving Day meals also take place in the Bunkhouse, eliminating the cost of using other facilities.
Another area that the staff and board of directors are very proud of is that the Bunkhouse is an approved disaster site when an emergency happens. They are indebted to many in seeing this project completed.