Coming together to make a difference. A new home for the Montgomery family


Hi Jean Robb here. I love to see people come together and make a difference! High school sweethearts Nathan & Jenny Montgomery gave up their careers in order to start a charity called Salt & Light.Their charity serves over 10,000 families in their hometown in Illinois. They are also the parents of 4 bright children with big personalities. They live in a house that is over 100 years old and is in need of extensive repairs. After sending the family on a trip to Disney World, the team builds them a great new house that will allow them to raise their children in a safe environment and to focus on their charity work. The childrens' rooms include a robot room, an army fort, and a candy shop. At the home reveal, Ty also surprises the family with the news that they were able to raise $50,000 for Salt & Light.

The Salt & Light Ministry recently stated on their website, “Everything that was done for Salt & Light during that week was a tremendous blessing, and we can never thank everyone enough for their involvement. Probably the more lasting effect, though, is the awareness that was created in our community about the work that we do, and the ways in which people can partner with us in that work.” Father of the family Montgomery, Nathan Montgomery left a lucrative engineering job at Alloy Casting to start Salt & Light Ministry, an organization which relies entirely on donations to provide food, clothing, shoes and other supplies to people in need. The family has recently had an over-whelming demand for supplies as demands have gone up due to the countries economic state. Although the Montgomery family helps feed and clothe many people in their community they have had to put the repairs on their 150+ year-old home on hold to keep Salt & Light Ministry open. The Montgomery’s home was barley standing with exposed wires, a crumbling brick foundation and holes in the roof and walls.
 Click on the link above to see the Brady Homes main page!

 Brady Homes was chosen as the contractor for this Extreme build due to its reputation for giving back to the community. They have built four homes for St. Jude and also homes for residents of Marcfirst, an organization for the developmentally disabled.  Brady Homes will be responsible for overseeing the projects construction and event management while upholding the highest standards of quality craftsmanship, design, and energy efficiency.  Not only will this home be built in seven days but all products and labor will be donated by partnering trades and suppliers.

 The Brady family has always believed in giving back to our communities and is excited about helping a family who is in need of a new home, said Ed Brady, co-owner with Bob and Bill Brady of Brady Homes.  When Extreme Makeover: Home Edition called us, there was no doubt we were willing to take on the challenge of organizing the building of a new home in one week for a deserving family.

The Montgomery's new home!
 Click on the link above to see the Salt and Light main page!

Our mission is to share the love of God by helping those in need.
1 John 3:17-18 states: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
This is what Salt & Light is all about-Action...  Continue Reading >>

Salt & Light featured on ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Extreme Impact On Salt & Light
On August 18, 2009, at approximately 10:00 a.m., the landscape of Salt & Light was forever altered. "GOOD MORNING MONTGOMERY FAMILY!" echoed off of the warehouse walls from Ty Pennington's megaphone to our ears. We could scarcely imagine how transfixed our community would be as Extreme Makeover Home Edition walked into our lives. Little could we fathom the impact that Extreme Makeover Home Edition would have on Salt & Light, the ministry we have devoted ourselves to over the past six years.

Leading up to that incredible morning when Ty, Michael, Johnny, and Didi showed up, we had discussed the potential impact something like this could have, but it did not take long before we realized we had underestimated just how grand it would be. The facelift they gave to the building itself was amazing! From new light fixtures, a much-needed paint job, and new freezers and refrigeration in the warehouse to completely refurbishing my office, our waiting area, and the multi-purpose room where we hold our services; everything had a completely different feel when you walked through the doors.

The physical changes were really just the beginning. Through the combined efforts of the show, the builder Brady Homes, and the rest of the community, multiple semi-loads of food were collected to be distributed through our food pantry, and over $50,000 was raised to further our work. This was all done while they were building our new home, which along with the "family story" is typically the focal point of the show. Once exposed to the work being done at Salt & Light, Extreme Makeover Home Edition quickly realized they wanted to increase their focus on the ministry.

Everything that was done for Salt & Light during that week was a tremendous blessing, and we can never thank everyone enough for their involvement. Probably the more lasting effect, though, is the awareness that was created in our community about the work that we do, and the ways in which people can partner with us in that work. We could have spent decades laboring in our neighborhoods and still not created the level of awareness that now exists as the product of one extraordinary week. For this increased exposure we are forever grateful!

Prior to the week of filming that took place, our food pantry served an average of about 240 families every week handing out just over 40,000 pounds of food per month. So far this year, we have served an average of 387 families per week and handed out over 425,000 pounds of food so far in 2010. This is testimony to the fact that awareness has been raised not just about the work we do, but about the great need that exists. With the help of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Brady Homes, and the wonderful volunteers from our area, the page has been turned on our work at Salt & Light. Now, it is up to us, to each of us, to write the next chapter.
Click on the link above to see the Salt and Light video!

Can-less Food Drive a HUGE Success!

Because of your generosity, the 1st Annual Salt & Light Can-less Food Drive has been a HUGE success. Thanks also to the over 260 local businesses who partnered with us in this effort to raise funds to purchase groceries for those in need from the Eastern IL Food Bank for about 10 cents on the dollar. To God be the glory!

Our Services

Salt & Light is all about – Action.  These are the ways in which we act on our faith:
Food Pantry
Through our food pantry, we provide food to those in need.  We provide families and individuals with perishable and non-perishable food items. We have quickly grown into the largest emergency food program in Champaign County serving an average of over 400 families every Wednesday.  We have handed out over 1.5 million pounds of food in over 40,000 visits from families as of September 2009!
Clothing Closet
Our clothing closet provides clothes for all ages, as well as, furniture, small and large appliances, miscellaneous household items, and toys. Our clothing closet is completely reliant on clothing donations. We have several drop off sheds open 24 hours every day located on the west side of our building for donations of clothing. Delivery of other items can be done on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Since opening in 2004, we have handed out over 500,000 articles of clothing, along with countless numbers of these other items. All of this was given to those in need at no cost.
Financial Literacy
We offer financial literacy in the form of a thirteen week course called Financial Peace University. Financial Peace University uses curriculum from nationally-syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author Dave Ramsey.  This course covers everything from getting out of debt, budgeting, and saving for emergencies to investing, planning for the future, and giving.  As part of the class, one-on-one counseling is also available to address specific issues.
  • People are empowered to take responsibility for themselves and their financial future.
  • Valuable principles that help parenting skills, coping skills, marriage and employment skills are taught.
  • People learn to live on a budget that actually works for them.
  • Increases self confidence and gives hope.
  • Increases control over income and expenses.
Financial Counseling
For individuals/families who have debt outside of a home mortgage or even a crisis situation, we will help establish a sound monthly budget, plan for paying off debt, and address specific personal issues surrounding their individual needs.  (Creditors, judgements, foreclosures, bankruptcy, extra jobs, etc).  It includes an initial 2-hour session and 3 months of follow-up (up to four additional hours) which is dependent on each client’s specific needs.  The four additional hours can include limited debt negotiation.  Unlike most Personal Financial Counselors, Salt & Light is not getting commissions on selling insurance or investments.  Clients can be sure they are getting advice that is objective with their best interest at heart. 

Special Events

Gift Give-Away
At Christmas time, we offer the gift give-away as an opportunity to help those in need at a very important time of year.  During this event children are able to pick out a gift for their parents while the parents pick out gifts for their children.  We have snacks and activities for the children, and gift wrapping is also provided.  The signup is always the Monday (November 30th) and Wednesday (December 2nd) after Thanksgiving.  The 2009 Gift Give-Away will be held on December 10th and 11th.

Family Resource Day
On the second Saturday in August, we partner with area churches through the Christian Mercy & Justice Network to help those in need prepare for the new school year.  Backpacks, school supplies, school physicals, dental exams, food, and clothing are all provided for free to families in need in Champaign County. In 2009, we were able to hand out 850 back packs full of school supplies!

Salt & Light
1512 W. Anthony Drive
Champaign, IL  61821

Phone Number:  217-355-5654
Fax Number:       217-355-5268
General Inquiries:

Hours of Operation

Volunteer Hours:
Monday – Friday  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1st Saturday of every month 8:00 a.m. – Noon
1st Tuesday of every month 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Clothing Distribution Hours:
Monday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1st Saturday of every month 8:00 a.m. – Noon

Food Distribution Hours:
Wednesday 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
(Worship Service)

Wednesday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Food Distribution)


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