Needs in Sampson County are increasing among the poor, and that fact has become increasingly apparent as the holidays roll around.
Rochelle Stuart, director of the Crisis Center stressed that fact during a recent interview, noting that while the need is greater, the donations are slower to come in, particularly in the area of food, one of the greatest needs in the local area.
“Donations for the Thrift Store are coming in really good, nd sales are doing good, too, but we have a tremendous need for food donations,” asserted Stuart.
Lorie Faircloth, assistant director for the Crisis Center, said donations of non-perishable food items in non-glass containers are vital for the center’s food program.
Right now, food that the center is receiving from donations is going right out the door as soon as it comes in.
“We received daily donations of food from the Clinton Food Lion. I do not know how we would make it without their support. We completely ran out of food in October. It was the first time in the 15 years we have been here that we ever ran completely out,” a concerned Stuart noted.
Faircloth explained that the center was able to survive in November because of the donations of food boxes and the purchase of additional food boxes from Food Lion.
“During the holiday season, Food Lion has the pre-packed food boxes available for customers to purchase. They contain rice, oatmeal, pasta, pasta sauce and green beans, all for $5. We also purchased boxes to help us provide food for those in need,” stated Faircloth.
The center received 28 donated boxes in November and purchased 125.
“These boxes are what got us through the month of November,” stressed Stuart.
The center provided Thanksgiving to four families last month.
Stuart also stressed that the number of fires, six from Sept. 27 through the third week in November, had really put things on hold at the center.
“Fire victims take precendence over other clients. We have to find housing for them, usually in a motel for a couple of days, provide clothing, food and other personal items. Everything else we do has to be put on hold until we can assist them,” stated the director.
“We are getting requests for assistance at Christmas every day. Calls to offer to adopt a family, however, have been on the decline. We have been able to help eight families be adopted for Christmas thus far. But I still have others that need to be adopted. Unfortunately most people only want families to adopt with only one or two children at the most. Some of the families we have remaining currently have five to six children, and I am afraid they will not be adopted for Christmas,” cited Stuart.
Both Stuart and Faircloth urged the public to support the United Way of Sampson County’s fundraising campaign. The Crisis Center is a member agency and reaps the benefits of contributions to the local UW.
“We are so grateful for the support we receive from United Way but they are at the hands of donors to their organization before they can help us,” explained Faircloth.
The duo also expressed their appreciation to the Clinton High School Beta Club for the huge donation of canned goods from a food drive they held. Praise was also offered to Pleasant Union Christian Church in Newton Grove, Graves Memorial Presbyterian and the employees of Murphy-Brown for their contributions. So much of the food items they donated came in the door in one hand and out the next.
Stuart reminded everyone that the center’s annual fundraising event,a gospes sing, will be coming up in late March and she hopes that as many as possible will attend and support their fund raising activities.
“The needs are growing each day. We have more people coming in and more people calling in needs. We try to help everyone who comes in and qualifies. We rely on the generosity of the community to provide for these unfortunate ones. We pray and urge anyone who can, to give or volunteer to adopt a family for the holidays and help make someone’s Christmas better,” remarked Stuart.