“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”― Fred Rogers
It’s become a bit of a cliche over the past few years. During every traumatic event, in every crisis, in moments of distress, you’ll hear Mr. Rogers’ infamous quote.
But, even if it is overused, the saying proves to be true over and over here at Crisis Assistance Ministry.
Nearly every day, neighbors come through our doors hoping for help during a crisis. They need coats for the children, shoes for their new job, an emergency rent or utility payment, or perhaps they need a bit of coaching to get back on the path to financial stability. Sometimes, they don’t have time to eat before they arrive, and sometimes the cupboard is bare even if there is time.
And nearly all the time, there are helpers here to comfort them and connect them to the resources they need to get through the day and move past their crisis toward a brighter future. Many of the people they talk with are staffers who are committed to Crisis Assistance Ministry’s mission. But, behind the scenes, there are hundreds of individual helpers who volunteer to keep donated items flowing into the Free Store, to make sure paperwork is complete and ready for financial assistance caseworkers, to receive clothing and household donations at the drive-thru, or to provide snacks for families as they await services.
Sharon Towers Feeds Customers
Every other week, Carmen Murphy loads up bottled water and chips packed by residents at Sharon Towers where she works as their Community Outreach Coordinator. She swings by a fast food restaurant and picks up a standard order: 75+ sausage biscuits. Then she heads to Crisis Assistance Ministry to drop off the bounty. These packs will be distributed to families who visit for financial assistance or to shop, free of charge, for essentials.
Why? “We believe in the mission,” she offers. “The cost of living in Charlotte continues to grow and wages aren’t matching that growth. People have to work multiple jobs to be able to pay their bills. The need is still here. People need help to stay in their homes and keep going.”
Snack ministry opportunities are available a few days each week for volunteers to purchase, assemble, and drop off snack packs for the families served here.
Kelvin Glee Shares Smiles
Seven years ago, Charlottean Kelvin Glee sought out a place where his donations of clothing and household goods would not be resold. He wanted somewhere that would offer items directly to community members in need. He found Crisis Assistance Ministry.
He says once he saw what the organization did, he knew he wanted to do more than just donate. Since then, he’s volunteered almost every Saturday. These days you will find him at the donation drive-thru, where he greets each donor with a smile and offers to help them unload clothing, shoes, linens, and other donations headed for Crisis Assistance Ministry’s Free Store.
“I like being there, talking to the people who come to donate, and spending time with the staff,” he says. “I like being a blessing to someone else rather than just working all the time.” It’s a perfect fit for the Senior Manager at a medical coding consulting firm.
Volunteers age 18+ are needed to fill the role of Donation Door Attendant anytime the donation door is open, Tuesday through Saturday.
Bank of America Teams Build Community
When it comes to team-building, Bank of America employees have plenty of options. But one of their favorites is to spend time volunteering at Crisis Assistance Ministry. Several times a month, these teams help stock the store, inspect and prepare donated items, hang clothing, and perform a multitude of tasks in the organization’s donation warehouse. It’s a great way to build team camaraderie while supporting the community.
Each week more than 100 volunteers may help out in the Free Store Production warehouse or the Free Store itself. Their time and enthusiasm make it possible for more than 80 families a day to shop, free of charge, for essentials like school uniforms, seasonal clothing, shoes, towels, sheets, and other household goods.
Will You Join the Helpers?
Volunteers are an essential part of fulfilling the mission of Crisis Assistance Ministry. Roles are available for individuals and groups ages 11 and up. Many require no minimum commitment or prior training, and some can be performed remotely at an offsite location.
It’s easy to find a spot to “pitch in” with a variety of opportunities including weekend shifts. Just visit our volunteer portal to get started.