Community Ministry of North Augusta has an average of 50 volunteers per month.
Last year, the volunteers put in 8,001 hours in Community Ministry’s thrift store and ministry services.
“That would cost us a lot of money if we had to pay people to do that,” said director Nancy Joyce.
If the volunteers had been paid for the hours worked, the nonprofit would have incurred a cost of about $60,000, Joyce said.
The organization held a volunteer luncheon on April 23 to honor and reward the volunteers for the work they do and show appreciation for their dedication.
“They are really dedicated in order to come every week and help out,” said Joyce. “They give up a lot to help us out and we appreciate that they choose to spend some of their time volunteering with us.”
In addition to volunteering, there are other ways of contributing to Community Ministry’s mission of helping needy families in North Augusta, including shopping in its thrift store.
“We encourage people to shop in our thrift store because that money is turned around and used to pay bills,” she said. “We can’t help people with bills if we don’t sell the stuff in our thrift store.”
The money from the thrift store is used to pay or help pay electrical, water and medical bills that families are having trouble paying.
Last year, Community Ministry paid $63,441 in electrical bills, $11,147 in water bills and $1,705 in medical bills for families it served.
The thrift store, which is open 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, has a variety of items including clothing, wedding and prom dresses, household items, linens, toys, jewelry, furniture, golf clubs, luggage, books, CDs, and DVDs.
“We have something for everyone here,” Joyce said.
Shoppers shouldn’t be concerned that they are taking away from those in need because Community Ministry will give items to those families, she said.
People are also encouraged to donate items in working and usable condition for the thrift store and for families they serve, and food for the food bank.
“Lately, we have been getting a lot of people who need food,” Joyce said.
People can donate nonperishable food items as well as cleaning supplies, diapers and hygiene items for the food bank.
Donations can be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Sometimes people think we won’t take certain things,” Joyce said. “People can always call and ask if we take different things. However, whatever they donate has to be in working order.”
For more information about becoming a volunteer, donating items or making monetary donations, or Community Ministry’s services, contact the organization at (803) 279-5771.