It is my hope that a number of you will take the opportunity to visit the new First C.A.R.E. building located adjacent to the Family Life Center. On Sunday evening, November 2nd, I took the opportunity to visit the new and expanded home of our benevolence ministry as they were celebrating their Grand Opening. The first thing that I noticed was the improved curb appeal and building access. Donations may now be made on the northeast side of the building, freeing the front entrance for First C.A.R.E. clients.
Upon entering the main doors visitors are greeted by a warm and inviting waiting room. Clients simply have to express a need and show proof of residency for the cities of Cabot, Austin, or Ward in order to receive aid. Ninety-five percent of the benefits that the ministry offers are non-income based. A small income based portion of the ministry operates under the guidelines of the US Department of Agriculture.
That being said, clients do undergo a brief counseling session in one of the three new interview rooms. Interviews are conducted by trained ministry volunteers who inquire about the clients living arrangements, discuss income and spending habits, and assess their physical and spiritual needs. This time also offers an opportunity for the ministry staff to present the gospel. Bibles are available to any who desire one at no charge. Upon completion of the interview, clients may obtain food and/or clothing through First C.A.R.E.. Additionally, volunteers may direct clients to other services that are available to them within the community.
Gone are the cramped quarters of the Pine Street locations (2 buildings)!!! The spacious, well lit clothing room affords the center the ability to display a larger selection and wider range of sizes. First C.A.R.E volunteers clean, sort, and arrange shoes and clothing articles in an appealing and well organized fashion. On the occasion that donated items are found to be soiled, the inclusion of a washer and dryer in the new facility is a blessing!
If you had previously visited the Pine Street kitchen and pantry, then be prepared to rejoice over the expanded food storage area. One freezer has been added to accommodate more cold storage items. Large shelving units have been purchased to welcome more non-perishable food donations. They will also make the job of clearly displaying and rotating stock much easier for the volunteers.
Patty Riggs, the director of First C.A.R.E., commented that over 50 people came through the center last Monday when the doors opened to the public. The volunteer staff was astounded by the number of clients they were able to help that day because larger space allows for more fluid and time-saving movement through the center.
A great deal of prayer, planning, and hard work went into the new First C.A.R.E facility. I encourage you to visit the center and see the potential it has for reaching others in our community with the love of Christ. By your prayerful and financial support of the benevolence ministry you are ON MISSION in Cabot, Austin, and Ward. Perhaps God is now calling you to step out and volunteer in the ministry, below you will find additional opportunities to do so.
The new address is 404 E. Olive St.
After the New Year, First C.A.R.E. would like to expand its operating hours to include Tuesday evenings. They are currently open Monday and Thursdays 9 am – 2 pm. The addition of evening hours would allow them to accommodate clients who work during the day who are in need of assistance.
- Clothing Room Attendant
- Clothing Sorter
- Food Sorter
Items in critical need:
- Diapers sizes N, 4, 5, 6
- Razors (men and women)
- Feminine care products
Do you hunt? You can donate venison and other wild game to First C.A.R.E. through the Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry program. More information can be found at www.arkansashunters.org
Kroger Community Rewards Program: If you are a Kroger shopper with a Kroger Plus Card you could be earning rewards for the First C.A.R.E. ministry simply by doing your regular shopping. For more information and to register your card click here.
The First C.A.R.E. organization number is 81045.
First C.A.R.E. is a joint undertaking between First Baptist of Cabot and seven other local churches. Financial support comes primarily by the benevolence offerings and other contributions received from the membership of First Baptist. Regular financial support is also received from Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Fellowship Bible Church, Faith Baptist Church, Bible Church, Our Savior of Lutheran Church, New Life Church (NLC), and Austin Station Baptist Church.
C.A.R.E. = Christian Assistance, Resources, and Encouragement