An event designed to provide the needy with food and health care services was a success according to the woman who organized it.
Community Care Fest was held Saturday in an open field on Columbus Street in the Chambertown Community. The event, which was held in cooperation with the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and Bikers Against Hunger, featured a cookout; entertainment; blood pressure and blood sugar screenings and other health care information and education; and food assistance for needy families and individuals.
The event was conceived and organized by Monica Wicker-Ramsay, a Union native who now lives in Charlotte, NC, who said she wanted to bring the community’s churches together to fight hunger. Wicker-Ramsay said she’d been inspired by similar efforts in Charlotte and other communities where different groups came together in a common cause and, in Charlotte, where the churches are linked through a large food bank organization to provide food to the needy.
In addition to the support it received from Spartanburg Regional and Bikers Against Hunger, Community Care Fest also had the support of a number of local and area churches including Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Cowpens, Breakthrough Church in Spartanburg, Mt. Zion World Outreach in Spartanburg, Corinth Baptist Church in Union, McBeth Baptist Church in Union, Sims Chapel Baptist Church in Whitmire, and Outreach Deliverance Church in Carlisle.
Wicker-Ramsay said that, thanks to the support from these organizations and churches and others, Community Care Fest succeeded in its mission of serving the needy of the community. She also thanked the Union Housing Authority and Union County Health Department for their efforts on behalf of the event.
“Community Care Fest was a success on last Saturday, June 9,” Wicker-Ramsay said in a statement released Tuesday. “I could not have been nearly as successful if it had not been for Union Housing Authority. Robbie Littlejohn, Carolyn Rutherford, and others from the Housing Authority helped out with Community Care Fest by providing access to their facilities, tables, chairs, and running electricity. Paula Jennings with the Union Health Department also contributed resources to inform locals of services provided by the Health Department.
“With your donations we were able to send over 100 families’ home with groceries, and provide women over the age of 40 with free mammograms via Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System,” she said. “Mary Black Hospital also made a showing and provided health education while checking vital signs. The entertainment was among some of the finest that Union, Spartanburg, and Gaffney, SC has to offer.”
In announcing the event last week, Wicker-Ramsay thanked several individuals including LaRuchula Murphy, Jessica Maynard, Pastor Neil Anderson with Trinity Baptist Church, Lay Pastor Rick Dupree with New Life Baptist Church, and Tim Holden with Bikers Against Hunger for their efforts. On Tuesday, she also thanked several other individuals who made contributions to the success of the event.
“There were many who came forth to volunteer,” Wicker-Ramsay said. “Charles Lot volunteered to be security; Linda Hunt, Pastor Neil Kreisler, Joyce Murphy, my family, and many more people volunteered during Community Care Fest. You all were wonderful. I enjoyed serving the community alongside you. So again, I would like to thank all the churches that participated and everyone that served.”
Wicker-Ramsay that Community Care Fest’s motto is “serving our communities; making caring tangible,” adding that she hopes to hold similar events in the future. She that she plans to make Community Care Fest an annual event and that next year she not only hopes to again address the issues of hunger and medical needs in the community, but also home heating for those in need.