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from Inspiration Ministries
In May, employees of Inspiration Ministries at the City of Light were issued a challenge: To collect the equivalent of 400 bags of groceries in one week for HOPE in Lancaster to help people in the community struggling to make ends meet.
The staff rose to the challenge, and, within a week, the organization delivered a trailer full of non-perishable food, along with more than $1,300 in grocery store gift cards and $6,165 in cash and checks.
“We are so grateful to Inspiration Ministries and their employees for the generous support provided to the people of this community,” said Elaine Adkins, director of HOPE in Lancaster. “Our cupboards have been sparse due to the great need of our residents. Many are without jobs, hungry, about to lose electricity or homes. Now, we’ll be able to respond to those who come to us looking for help and hope.”
The challenge developed after Karen White, the ministries’ director of community and spiritual development, learned of the desperate need facing HOPE in Lancaster, one of the area’s largest providers of short-term emergency assistance.
White met with Adkins and saw first-hand the empty shelves in the food drop-off building.
“The needs were obvious and urgent,” White said. “I presented a plan to David and Barbara Cerullo, who enthusiastically embraced the initiative.”
As part of the challenge, they agreed that the ministry would make a substantial matching contribution if employees met the goal.
Beginning that first day, employee volunteers gathered brown bags from the Indian Land Harris Teeter and Food Lion stores, stapled “Hope NOW!” fliers on each and distributed to fellow workers.
“Almost immediately, bags began to appear in the first floor lobby at the City of Light,” White said. “On day two, more bags, along with grocery store gift cards, poured in. Throughout the week, we were overwhelmed by the volume and logistics of collecting so much food, gift cards, checks and even cash. It was beautiful to watch.”
Responding to the urgent needs, and the generous response of staff, the Cerullos made a substantial, personal contribution, matching the organization’s gift.
“We hope that others follow Inspirations’ example and show this kind of concern for the people in our community,” Adkins said.
Inspiration Ministries’ City of Light campus is in the heart of Indian Land on U.S. 521, five miles south of Interstate 485 and the Ballantyne region of Charlotte. For more information, visit http://www.thecityoflight.com.