CMONA grows to help underprivileged

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Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018
News 12 @ 6 o’clock / NBC 26 at 7

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- Eddie Brooks came to Community Ministries of North Augusta a year ago after a career in the army reserves.

"I had some financial problems.”

The transition was tough and he needed to get back on his feet.

"I got the help right on the same day."

"It felt like they were like big brothers and big sisters to me and like family," Eddie said.

Eddie got a job working at the Ministry's thrift store and has been there ever since.

"We have a lot of people in our area who are very vulnerable because they're living paycheck to paycheck."

It's stories like Eddie's, says the ministry's vice president Nita Swift, that are driving them to expand and eventually move.

"We have land already, and we are planning to move to a bigger facility that will help better service the people here," said Nita Swift, Vice President and Chair of New Campaign.

CMONA has 22 member churches in the area and last year they helped out 2800 families with everything from rent money to food to job training.

That's 12% of North Augustans living at or below the poverty line.

"We had over eleven families this morning already come through," she said.

Swift says now, more than ever, donations from those who can give are important for this move to be a success.

"As the city grows, we expect the needs to grow as well."

In many ways, it's growth driving this whole thing. Right now, many who visit, end up having to go to Aiken for services like WIC and food stamps and that can be too far. That's where the new building comes in.

"It can be like a one-stop shop where people get everything they need while they're there," Eddie explains.

Brooks says he supports the move and has a message for those in need like he once was.

"I tell them, you can get all the help you want...you don't have to be afraid."

The ministry's campaign, called 'Forward in Faith' will be picking up a lot of steam in December, when they move into a brand new facility not too far from here.