The church has served more than 2,000 people and given away literally tons of food and other nonperishable items through its food assistance programs.
“And we are still, every time, it never fails, signing up 25-40 new families each time we have an event,” said Pastor Don Moore.
The programs have grown so much the church has added an additional two distribution days each month — one on the second Saturday, another on the fourth Saturday and now a third on the third Thursday of each month for people who could not make it to either of the regular distribution days.
Those who want to come on the Thursday distribution day must call the church ahead of time between 1-3 p.m. that day to say they are coming, must already be registered with the program and will have an appointment made for sometime between 3-6 p.m. that day to pick up their food.
Moore, the church and its volunteers also are gearing up for the third distribution event of August which is set for this Saturday, the 28th.
“I had no idea it would be so big,” the pastor said. “You go from overwhelming to overwhelming to overwhelming.”
The church has not run out of food for one distribution event, even though it came close at the first event this month which served about 400 families on Saturday, Aug. 14. Moore said the church still had enough so everyone who came received a box of items.
That’s the good news.
The Lord continues to provide the programs with the food they need to serve their mission and Moore and the church have faith that will continue. With supporters like the Fresh Market in Spartanburg, Dollar General, Second Harvest Food Bank and several other businesses, organizations and individuals in and around Union County who are willing to give whenever they can, getting the food the programs need to remain viable has not been an issue.
But the church has other needs to keep the programs running — one of which is needed before the end of August.
The Potters House is a member of the United Way’s Gifts in Kind program. As a member, Moore and other volunteers can purchase items such as toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, bar soap, pillows, napkins, feminine items and a host of others for just $10 each week.
“You name it,” the pastor said. “It’s unreal how many different products you can get. Anything but food, basically.”
And the people who receive assistance through the church’s food programs enjoy also receiving those items when they come to a distribution event.
“People are so tickled to get those items,” Moore said, adding some of those who come to the distribution days haven’t had items like toothpaste or mouthwash — the basic necessities for good hygiene — in more than a year. “They get down on themselves when they know they don’t have the most common necessities.”
Since becoming a part of the gifts in kind program through the United Way several months ago, Moore estimates the church has given away at least $4,000 worth of those types of items to the people the distribution program serves. That includes:
• 1,500-2,000 rolls of toilet paper at each event.
• 600-800 rolls of paper towels.
• 100-plus boxes of Pampers diapers.
• 200 bottles of shampoo.
• 800-1,000 bars of soap.
• 250-300 toothbrushes.
The church wants to continue offering those types of items at its future distribution events, but is in need of some assistance to do so.
Moore said the annual cost to participate in the gifts in kind program is $500 and he’s hoping there are some generous souls in the Union County community or beyond who would be willing to donate funds to help the church remain a part of the program.
The pastor said the church is more than able to afford the $10 per week it takes to shop through the United Way program, but a one-time lump sum of $500 by the end of August to continue with the gifts in kind program is a little harder to come up with.
The church also is still looking for additional freezers to store meats and other frozen goods between distribution days and is slowly but surely running out of space at its location in Jonesville to hold the distribution days and keep its food bank stocked.
With food and other items coming into the church on a regular basis now — through the kindness of many donors and other programs the church is now affiliated with — space is becoming limited and Moore said it would be great if a larger building could be found to house the food programs. Not only would that provide the space needed, it also would give the programs room to grow even more.
The pastor is confident the Lord will see the church through as He has since the beginning last October and said anyone who would like to donate food, funds or any other items are welcome and very much appreciated.
Moore attributes the success of The Potters House food programs to the Lord, first and foremost, but also to all the people who have made it possible to sustain the mission of helping those families in need of food assistance.
“It’s the people who care,” the pastor said. “People care about others, they really do. They don’t want the recognition, they just want to help.”
And that’s been the stance of the church since day one.
It’s only mission through the food programs is to serve those who are in need. Nothing more and nothing less.
Anyone interested in helping The Potters House by giving a donation should contact Moore at (864) 680-3465.