Community Ministry of North Augusta helps people meet their needs, including spiritually.
“I think faith is so important because if they have faith in God, it will help to keep their attitude positive, it will help keep hope alive and, to have a church to go to, it gives them people who want to support the family,” said director Nancy Joyce. “They can really feel supported emotionally through their church families.”
CMONA was founded in 1984 by six local churches: Fairview Presbyterian Church, Grace United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church and Second Providence Baptist Church.
Since then, the nonprofit’s network of churches has grown to include 22 churches with another joining soon, said Joyce.
The churches help support the organization through food donations, providing volunteers and donating at least $1 a year for every church member.
“Many of them do more than that,” she said.
The organization helps people in need living within the Area 2 school district with paying electrical, water and medical bills; provides them with items such as clothing and furniture; and provides food assistance.
“People come in when they are having an emergency like their electricity is about to be turned off or their water is about to be turned off and they don’t have the money to pay it – usually because they have lost their jobs or their hours have been cut down,” said Joyce.
The money the organization uses to help families mostly comes from proceeds from its thrift store, which sells a variety of items including jewelry, clothing, furniture, appliances, toys and books.
“We depend on the thrift store,” said Joyce. “Anyone can come in and shop here.”
The organization is looking to expand its thrift store area by 800 to 1,000 square feet in the fall.
“We’re really excited about that, getting more space,” she said.
Individuals may also donate to CMONA or volunteer, said Joyce.
Currently, it is most in need of nonperishable food items such as canned meats, canned vegetables and canned fruits; hygiene products; and baby diapers in larger sizes such as 4, 5 and 6.
Donations can be brought to its location, 646 E. Buena Vista Ave., Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The thrift store is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ministry is open to provide assistance Wednesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Any North Augusta area churches interested in joining CMONA’s ministry or anyone interested in volunteering can contact Joyce at (803) 279-5771 for more information.