Pahrump native Ginger Stumne has worked in a number of organizations from fitness and rehab to assisted living for a number of years, but eventually decided to follow her passion of helping others.
In February, Stumne, armed with a stream of donations and help of several volunteers who handle her paperwork, opened ARMS (Advanced Resource Method Solutions), a first non-profit business that connects its clients with resources based on their individual needs in Pahrump.
“So, I thought, ‘Why am I not doing it as a business, that’s what I want to do, that’s what my passion is,”‘ said Stumne, executive director of ARMS. “I’m tired of working for companies that care about nothing but the profit, so I knew that I wanted a nonprofit organization.”
ARMS is located at 2340 E. Calvada Blvd., Suite 8, and offers a spectrum of services including help with applications, guardianships and referring people to organizations such as the Salvation Army, various churches and Health and Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Oftentimes, Stumne, who is also paralegal and notary, helps her clients with legal matters.
Since she opened her organization, Stumne said her workload has grown exponentially. Thus far, ARMS was able assist 94 clients and there’s currently 35 open cases. Stumne said she gets up to 16 phone calls per day while she is following up on each individual case to make sure her clients’ needs are met.
“Big thing for us is knowing that when somebody contacts us, whatever is going on in their life at that moment is the end of the world,” she said. “To me, it may be no big deal, to anybody it may be no big deal, but to them, it’s the end of the world, they don’t know what to do.”
Los Angeles resident Bill Sutherland said ARMS was instrumental in helping him to obtain a guardianship for his mother who is currently in an assisted living program in Pahrump.
“She is very knowledgeable,” Sutherland said about Stumne. “She puts out 110 percent to help you out.”
ARMS is operating on donations and while everything in the office from chairs to ink pads was donated, Stumne and said she eventually hopes to expand beyond Pahrump and offer their services throughout Nye County.
“A lot of people have asked, ‘Why don’t you wait till you have the money, grants and stuff and then help,”‘ Stumne said. ‘”My answer is, people need help now. They need help now, I can’t tell them ‘Sorry’ because I’m not getting a salary or big paychecks. I’m going to help them anyway, so we are surviving strictly off donations at this time.”
Barb Jorgensen, a volunteer who juggles responsibilities of a secretary and treasurer said the need for an all-stop shop was palpable in Pahrump.
“To help as many people as we possibly can because the need is so great, it just makes us feel so good to be able to help them,” Jorgensen said.
“This is needed, this has been needed for a long time,” Stumne added. “I have people that have come in and said ‘Why weren’t you here a year ago when I went through this?”‘
“I think that society has gotten too far at being a number. … No matter where you go, you are a number. Here, you aren’t a number, you are a person,” she said.
ARMS has been operating since mid-February and can’t apply for grants yet, Stumne said. To pay bills, she works a couple of other jobs on top of having to pay out of pocket to open up her agency. She is also back in college where she is working on a bachelor’s degree in social work. So far, she has no intention on giving up her agency.
“(The most rewarding thing is) when somebody is sitting here across from me in tears and saying ‘Thank you,”‘ Stumne said. “‘If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know what I would have done.’ That is the most rewarding (thing), that’s why I get up in the morning. To know that at the worst time of their life — no matter what the situation is — we are there to help them. That is rewarding, that’s what I’m here for. I can’t say no.”