New organization focused on ministering to Berrien, Cass counties

NILES — Earlier this week, furniture, knick-knacks, shoes and other household items littered the lawn at 24 N. Fourth St. in downtown Niles.

One gentleman in need of shoes stopped by the rummage sale, expressing a need for a new pair. Tina Baker, organizer of Shake and Wake Ministries, which was hosting the sale, went to work searching for a pair of shoes for the gentleman to give him free of charge, eager to fill the need.

“We just love people,” Baker said. “We’re here to help.”

Shake and Wake Ministries has been operating for approximately seven years as a mobile ministry mostly in the Berrien Springs area, and had been looking for a location to plant its roots. In August, Baker found an open space on N. Fourth Street in Niles, and Shake and Wake found a permanent home.

“[Shake and Wake] is a nonprofit charity organization,” Baker said. “It’s ecclesiastical, so our primary purpose is to give biblical counseling and to train ministers.”

While Baker cannot provide medical advice or professional psychological counseling, she said she is eager to share biblical advice with those who desire it.

“We were looking for a building, and we wanted some place that was close by where we’ve already been ministering,” she said. “[Niles] is a lovely community. We love it, and we’re just meshing very well.”

Baker said the organization’s members strive to be “world shakers” and “church awakeners,” hence the name of the nonprofit.

In order to “wake and shake” the community it serves, Wake and Shake hosts a number of recurring events.

Each Monday, it gives away free adult men’s clothing. On Tuesday, the organization hosts Taco Tuesday and Bible study. On Wednesday, women can get free clothing. On Thursday, the organization offers relapse prevention, Biblical counseling and life groups. On Friday, there is a free food giveaway.

Right now, Shake and Wake does not have much food to offer guests, but is meeting with Feeding America next week to determine if the organization can help stock the food pantry’s shelves. If they receive approval, people may visit Shake and Wake on Fridays to get food assistance.

“The qualifications are that they have to live in Van Buren, Cass or Berrien County with a photo ID proving that address,” Tina said. “It’s a self-declaration that they’re in need.”

The building is open for limited hours throughout the work week, from 6 to 8 p.m. during warmer months and 6 to 7 p.m. during winter months. On nights that Bible study is hosted, the building is open from 5 to 7 p.m.

Those wishing to help the cause may donate adult clothing items or non-perishable food items during hours of operation.

“We love people and so therefore we’re in the community of Niles helping people,” Tina said. “We want to help the community outreach and fill that need.”

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