November 12th of 2017, The Window, Inc. celebrated 50 years of service to the Goshen and surrounding communities. Over 200 friends and supporters of The Window’s mission helped make the event a colossal success. Over the past several years there has been an increase in need of the services provided, and we have utilized the current space to its maximum. Last fall, The Window purchased the upstairs in order to reconfigure its floor plan. Renovation to the space is currently taking place.
Stella Binkele wrote on the historical development of The Window in 1987. Beginning at it's conception, she details the many people and services that made up The Window.
In November 1967, Reverend Don Augsburger, with the help of 19 anonymous benefactors, established The Window, to provide a place where people could "read, discuss, gain counseling, listen, and share with others. In conjunction with this program, Church Women United of Goshen coordinated the Volunteer Bureau, under the director of Mrs. Jan Culp, to provide the solution to a two year informal researching of the community's needs. The agency was to serve as an extended arm of CWU and it's (sic) goal was to channel volunteer help into the areas of need through existing agencies whenever possible. The agency and volunteer services were supported by contributions.
The Window's original services included sponsoring a girls club, tutoring programs, home nursing and management classes, transportation, the volunteer bureau, and provided a gathering place for older adults. Church Women United annually sponsor the World Day of Prayer Service, World Community Day, May Fellowship Breakfast, and have been involved with UNICEF.
1970 began Telecare Service to provide emotional support to persons living alone. Volunteers worked at the Window each morning to answer the telephone and talk with Telecare clients.
In 1973, The Window sponsored a Community Food Pantry. The agency began staying open two evenings a week to provide youths with a place to bring their own entertainment and "rap". The collection center began for cents-off coupons and cancelled postage stamps. The "Someone Needs You" column originated in the Goshen News to advertise the needs in the community for volunteers.
In 1974 The Window began new hours, staying open with volunteers on duty from 9am to 4:30pm, Monday through Saturday. Orientation and inservice (sic) training programs for volunteers began as a new emphasis was placed on the importance of volunteers in the community.
1975 brought about the relocation to a larger building on Main Street and a new column in the Goshen News titled "Notes from The Window". A childcare co-op, sponsored by The Window, as located in the Presbyterian Church. Craft lessons were taught by volunteers and a Craft Corner for crafts to be sold on consignments at the Window formed. Since the Craft Corner was conceived, The Window has participated in the Craft Bazaars at Malls (sic), Topeka, and North Webster. Three part time CETA employees were hired (an assistant director, a summer maintenance person and an office girl,)
Van service with Greencroft was coordinated, in order to utilize resources and provide better transportation for the community; and the Handyman Program, Widowed Persons Programs, and Trade-A-Book Library began.
In 1976 The Window and Family Development Center created an Emergency Housing Program. Two part time REAL service (sic) employees were hired (a homemaker and a van driver) and van transportation with REAL service (sic) was coordinated. The Window became a site for a Social Work Student Placement by Goshen College, and for a Seminary Student placement by the Clinical Pastoral Education Department at Oaklawn. National Volunteer Week was celebrated for the first time in the community, with activities coordinated by the Window.
Revenue Sharing Funds were granted to The Window for the first time by the city in 1977 for transportation expenses.
In 1978 The Window was incorporated under the title of Church Women United of Goshen, Inc. A Social Worker position was added to the staff. The Elkhart County Commissioners Donated a 1975 Dodge Maxi-Van to The Window to help meet the transportation needs, and a "mini-bus" route was added to the existing Dial-A-Ride service.
The Grocery Shopping Service was created in 1979 and the Home Visitors Program coordinated with the Council on Aging. The Older Adult Companion Care was conceptualized as a result of the growing demand for such a service in the community. A grant from Title III was obtained to support the Window as an Information and Referral Center...The Window employed three part time van drivers, and a part-time secretary; in addition to the Social Worker and Executive Director.
...In 1983, The Window began Katie's Kitchen serving meals daily at the First United Methodist Church on Fifth Street. Also, in 1983, The Window was moved to 302 S Fifth Street...The City of Goshen offered the space until other arrangements could be made. A sharp decrease in the use of services and sales of crafts were noticeable at once. The Board worked diligently to find a new home for The Window.
In 1984, The Everett's Grocery Building at 223 S. Main was offered by the Holderman family for $31,750, half it's assessed value. After much prayer, a committment (sic) was made, papers were signed and an advisory committee made up of twelve church and community leaders began meeting and planning the future of the Window. A fund drive, co-chaired by Susie Warner and Charles Ainley, set a goal for $145,000 for renovation.
In March 1985 renovation began with many individuals and groups donating many volunteer hours. September 12 (sic) The Window was moved to it's new location, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house on October 13. The new location had a well-planned kitchen, which became the new home for Katie's Kitchen. A multi-purpose(sic) room served as the dining room and a meeting room for various activities. There was space for those waiting for transportation, meeting friends, or reading. The north half of the building was leased to a business creating income that helped with operation costs of The Window.
The Window continues to service persons of all ages in the Goshen Community, especially the elderly, the disadvantaged, and those living on low incomes. Health screenings, flu shots, craft classes and recreational opportunities have been added. Office space has been made available for Habitat for Humanity. Government surplus distributions are coordinated by volunteers at The Window.
...A new bus and new van will soon be in operation with the old bus being kept for a back-up. The vehicles are owned by the City of Goshen, but operated by The Window. Transportation ranks high in Window services, providing access for the homebound and others to meet medical appointments, shop, etc.
The Window has served the Goshen community for twenty years. Churches, individuals, clubs, and businesses have supported the work of The Window, volunteers have supplemented the fine Window Staff. The combined efforts of many persons make the Window the special place that it is. No doubt more services will be made available as The Window progresses into the next twenty years.