Great Kindness in a Time of Great Need
By Sherri Boucher
In the midst of the economic strain brought on by COVID-19, the needs in our community have greatly increased. For over three decades, Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries (formerly Norcross Cooperative Ministry) has worked with clients to provide food, assistance with rent and utilities during times of personal and family crisis, and career assistance to help clients plan and work for a brighter future. Now, more than ever, these are the areas where help is needed most. Fortunately, local individuals, churches, business leaders, and community organizations have risen to the challenge with kindness and generosity to help NCM in meeting these needs in Doraville, Norcross, Peachtree Corners, Tucker, and across Greater Southwest Gwinnett.
Thankfully, with NCM's new location, our organization has had the necessary space needed to meet these unique challenges for our clients. From the last week of February through the end of March:
NCM had a 526% increase in clients served.
Food distribution increased 710%.
To compare May 2020 with May 2019:
More Kindness. Our neighbors needed help, and the residents of the Peachtree Corners community showed up in a big way, contributing significant food and financial donations. Shirley Cabe, Executive Director of NCM, stated, "It is so encouraging to see so many people who want to help those in need. We are so thankful to live in a generous community that wants to make a difference in the lives of those in crisis due to COVID-19."
Kindness Continues. The Piedmont Bank saw the need and acted. With the help of a donated trailer from Howard Brothers Hardware and a donated banner from Trinity Press, The Piedmont Bank started a weekly food drive at their location on Peachtree Parkway. During the month of April, the drive collected 35,000 lbs. of food. Under normal conditions, this amount of food would take 8 weeks to distribute to clients in need. Because of the increased level of need, this food lasted only 3 weeks.
NCM's consistent history with serving the community allowed our organization to receive a grant for $200,000 from the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund through the United Way. This money has been specifically used used to provide extended stay lodging expenses (helping to keep people and families from possibly becoming homeless), rent assistance, and utilities assistance to families who desperately need the help right now.
With all of the uncertainty these days, Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries is still spreading kindness and fulfilling its vital mission to help those in our community who find themselves in desperate need, feeding those without enough food, keeping our neighbors from losing their homes, helping those who can't pay their utility bills.
When a neighbor is in trouble, we help because that is what neighbors do. We are all neighbors now and help is needed. The generosity and kindness of our community has allowed NCM to be here for our neighbors during these troubling times. Kindness makes all the difference.
We know we will get through this together because we have seen that the word neighbor still means something to this community.
To help support our mission, please go to OurNCM.org to give online today, or send a check to NCM at PO BOX 1489 Norcross, GA 30091. In the memo line, designate it for "Covid-19 Relief." If you are also interested in more information on volunteering at NCM, you can contact us through the website.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10am to 2pm
Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm
Saturday from 10am to 12noon
Doors are opened 30 minutes prior to each shift
Monday - Friday from 9am to 4pm
Tuesdays from 9am to 7pm
Saturdays from 10am to 12 noon