A recent article in the Cliffs Magazine by Suzie Eihl
NORTH GREENVILLE CRISIS MINISTRY---Faith, Hope and Love
Maybe you’ve driven past the North Greenville Crisis Ministry on Highway 25 Bypass outside of Travelers Rest and wondered who goes there and why.
Since 1983 the Ministry has offered short term temporary assistance to residents in crisis in Northern Greenville County. The Ministry serves the area from Cherrydale North to the NC border and West to Pickens County and East to Wade Hampton. It includes 7 zip codes and 250 square miles. As needs have grown over the years the Ministry has moved several times and now has 3 buildings and a well landscaped lawn with plenty of parking.
Director Suzanne Kolb and Joanne Turner, Chairman of the Board of Directors of North Greenville Crisis Ministry, stress that without volunteers the center could not operate. Of the 60-70 volunteers from around the area, 12 are from The Cliffs Valley. Both men and women help stock the shelves, pack food boxes, load and unload food containers, pick up donations, work in the clothing area, maintain the grounds and do clerical work.
An average of 15-20 potential clients come in each day. After they sign in, they are interviewed. When it is determined they are from our North Greenville area, their case is filed and their need is determined. If they are from outside the area, they are directed to another facility, but no one leaves without food. Family records are kept of the household members and their relationship to the primary client. Every client is required to present documentation on each visit to track changes in their status. Qualifying families receive a food supply of 3-4 days of food. Clients can only apply every 3 months.
The Crisis Ministry is not a food bank. It is a facility that offers short term, temporary assistance to those in a crisis situation. Clients are required to attend 3 classes to qualify for financial assistance. Classes in Eating Healthy on a Budget, Conserving Electricity, Fire Prevention and Coping with Grief have been offered to help educate clients.
Donated food comes from many sources. Local churches, schools, clubs and individual cash donations keep the Ministry going. Bi Lo donates day old deli items and bread. Recently the US Postal Service collected 14,000 pounds of food on one Saturday! Donations also come from Loaves and Fishes. Some food is purchased from Harvest Hope. The Cliffs Valley Community Relations Committee and Cliffs Resident Outreach (CRO) have supported the Ministry for many years.
The Food Room is set up like a grocery store with canned goods, boxed items, basic foods, canned meat, mac and cheese, peanut butter, bread, jelly, beans, rice, juice and a variety of healthy foods. No chips or soft drinks are available. Bags of pet food are available for clients with pets.
Two new large refrigerators for milk, eggs and produce were purchased with a $5,000 donation from The Cliffs Residents Outreach (CRO) organization. Two large freezers have also been added for frozen food and meats.
The Clothing Building is well organized with shelves and baskets that are labeled by size, age and gender from infants to adults. Clean, gently used items are displayed in orderly fashion. Dresses, men’s suits, shoes and accessories are given free to help clients dress for job interviews, everyday living and church. It makes a person feel good when they look good. School supplies will be collected and distributed as Back to School approaches. A winter coat drive will be held in the fall.
The Storage Building is utilized each season for storing goods and supplies. It was a great storage addition to the current facility.
The Swamp Rabbit Quilt Guild has donated handmade blankets and quilts to the Ministry. Joan Poole from the group stated that 25 ladies meet at the Travelers Rest Library once a month. They have donated more than 70 quilts and blankets in the last year to be given to children.
Volunteers come from all walks of life and provide a wonderful service. Without them the Ministry could not survive. In 2015, 8,103 people were assisted by NGCM. Also in 2015, 3,316 families were assisted with one third of them being children. Volunteers gave 3,594 hours to the Ministry.
Stop in sometime and see what a tremendous service the Ministry provides to those in crisis. Maybe you’ll find a volunteer opportunity. It is a non-denominational, non-discriminatory organization.
The Ministry is open Monday-Thursday from 9-11:30.
Forward Classes are a Hit
In order for clients to receive crisis assistance after the first initial time, they must attend three (3) Forward Classes in one year. Clients are provided with a schedule and the titles of each class at the beginning of every month. It is their choice what classes they choose to participate in. Some of our topics include eating healthy on a budget, diabetic cooking, low sodium tips, budgeting, parenting teens, food safety, and Employment tips for Greenville County Schools. Our classes are taught by dieticians, Nutrition experts, Counselors, Financial Planners, and Recruiters
For more information please call us at 864-834-7342.
Class schedules are provided under the SCHEDULE OF CLASSES tab above.
WEATHER CLOSING POLICY!!
- If the schools are closed, so are we.
- If there is a two hour delay then we will open at 10am.
- Should weather conditions be bad on a Crisis Funding Day, funding will be distributed on the first day we resume regular schedule.