Oh, so close to our move . . .
One of the most important things I have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic is that Community Ministry of North Augusta is essential. When times are difficult, the Ministry cannot shutter our doors or even shelter at home. This community needs us, and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve others in the name of Christ.
One of the unexpected effects of COVID-19 has been supply chain holdups in the field of construction. While the finishing touches are being put on the new Ministry building at 531 Belvedere-Clearwater Road, the steel for our Thrift Store building won’t arrive until late April. God’s timing, however, is never wrong. In mid-March, we received an offer on our current property at 646 East Buena Vista Avenue, with the proposed closing date of early July. Watching Him put the pieces into place for our move has been fascinating, and I have learned to trust Him in this, along with our daily operations.
Last year was certainly one for the books! Our supporting churches donated 1469 bags of food—along with turkeys, hams, and special food at the holidays—for hungry men, women, and children. We provided Christmas gifts for 52 children in 21 families with the help of our supporters. The Paycheck Protection Program allowed our staff to be paid despite the Thrift Store’s ten-week closure during the pandemic. Your faithful, above-and-beyond giving to Community Ministry allowed us to help clients on a level unheard of prior to 2020. Here are more highlights:
• We conducted 1234 interviews of clients representing 722 different local families.
• 1817+ bags of food were given to our clients, at an estimated value of $127,190.
• We distributed $6039 worth of clothing and furniture to those in need.
• $130,929 worth of utility assistance kept power and water on in clients’ homes—and helped them recover from astronomical bills.
• We received $143.544 in grant money, including special COVID-19 grant funding—more than we have ever received since the inception of Community Ministry.
• We provided $35,794 in rent assistance—a service we aren’t typically able to provide—to help prevent evictions during COVID.
• Those in need received $2947 worth of medication, transportation, and emergency shelter assistance from the Ministry.
• 348 volunteers served 5600 1/2 hours.
• Church donations (142%), corporate donations (173%), and individual donations (851%!) far exceeded our expectations for 2020. To God be the glory!
Community Ministry has put together an Amazon Wish List for those who would like to purchase items for our new facility. (Be sure to name Community Ministry of North Augusta as your charity of choice.) We have included items for our Food Pantry as well, in the event that someone outside of the CSRA would like to ship food to us. There aren’t many things about our move that get me more excited than the size of that new pantry! We cannot wait to be able to organize food, toiletries, and school supplies in all of that space, and our expanded Care Closet will allow us to have clothing, shoes, air mattresses, and household items at the ready for clients in emergency situations.
I am so proud of our community and how you all have rallied around Community Ministry this past year. Your lovingkindness towards those in need is inspiring. Consider the individuals who benefited from your generosity: the children whose homes had lights to do homework at night and warm water for bathing; men and women who had running water and refrigeration for food preparation; elderly and disabled people who had air conditioning in the summer heat and heat in the coldest weeks of winter; homeless people who had coats, blankets, and food. . . . YOU made a difference—thank you.