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SATURDAY, APRIL 15, 2006
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Joyce Ceci, director of the Committee on Church Cooperation, fills bags from the food pantry. She and assistant director Carol Bolding say that having more church representatives is important in helping needy Morgan County families.
DAILY Photo by John Godbey
Joyce Ceci, director of the Committee on Church Cooperation, fills bags from the food pantry. She and assistant director Carol Bolding say that having more church representatives is important in helping needy Morgan County families.

CCC asking churches: Please help

By Melanie B. Smith
DAILY Religion Writer

msmith@decaturdaily.com 340-2468

The idea is to make good better.

The Committee on Church Cooperation has a long heritage of helping people in need. The staff and volunteers have done that with the aid of churches, individuals and organizations, workers said.

So far this year, the CCC has assisted more than 1,500 people with food, clothing, gasoline and other emergency needs. Just in March, it helped 289 families, 47 of them new clients.

The CCC wants more supporters to help carry on the work.

"We want more participating, active members attending the meetings and being the liaison to their churches," said Carol Bolding, assistant director.

Many churches have members looking for ways to serve or do mission work, and the CCC offers an excellent opportunity to get them involved locally, she said.

The organization gets support from about 65 churches in Morgan County. However, only 12 to 15 have liaisons that attend board meetings, Bolding said.

Need is enormous

Help from the participating churches is great, but the need in the community is enormous, she said. The CCC assists people all over Morgan County.

The CCC board mailed letters to 165 churches this week, asking for representatives, Bolding said. The next board meeting is at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 1211 Westmeade St. S.W., on May 8 at 7 p.m.

"We hope churches will send at least one representative and find out what we do in the community. They can find out how they can help us and how we can help them," she said.

One of the purposes of the CCC is to serve as a clearinghouse. Bolding said that sometimes church benevolence gets abused. The CCC keeps records that help determine who really needs help and who is freeloading.

"We can take some of the burden off churches," she said.

In addition to providing food and clothes, the CCC helps people starting over after a fire, students needing school supplies and the sick who can't afford medicine. The CCC pays $3,000 to $5,000 a month in "stopgap" help to fill blood pressure, diabetic and antibiotic prescriptions, according to Bolding.

It also helps families at Christmas. This year, 522 children got toys through CCC sponsors or the CCC Toy Closet.

The organization's budget this year is $183,000. Some of the money comes from fundraisers, like the thrift sales that last year raised $38,000 for the prescription aid program. A golf tournament later this year is another important fundraiser, Bolding said.

Anyone wanting more information or to be added to the newsletter mailing list may call the CCC at 355-8893. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 3:45 p.m.

Bolding said that speakers also are available to go to congregations, classes or other groups to tell about the CCC's work.

The CCC office is at 119 First Ave. N.E.

CCC service

The Committee on Church Cooperation's 33rd Easter Sunrise service will be Sunday morning at 7 at the Point Mallard Prayer Chapel.

The Rev. Orville Collins will speak. Carol Bolding of the CCC and Mayor Don Kyle will sing.

An offering will go to support the CCC.

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