Garber Church supports many local mission initiatives, including:
Religious Community Services operates the local soup kitchen, the clothing closet, the food pantry, and the homeless shelter. They also provide rent assistance, transportation services, emergency funds for electrical and water services, and emergency groceries.
RCS was started in 1982 by several local churches and since then has utilized the collective efforts of churches, individuals, businesses, grants and foundations to provide immediate and dignified relief for those in need. RCS seeks to generate awareness of what our community needs. They encourage others to not only make financial commitments, but to get involved and make a difference. RCS offers a variety of quality programs and services that promote self-sufficiency.
One new initiative is the STEP Program which is being done in partnership with Craven Community College. The classes are held in an adjacent building to RCS. STEP stands for Strive, Train, Earn, and Prosper, and is designed to teach life skills as well as hands on training for jobs such as fork lift, carpentry, and hospitality. Each course begins with a “STEP IN” class to promote goal setting and good habits, then the educational/skill course, followed by a “STEP OUT” class for interview and resume skills.
There are many ways to support RCS. Volunteers are always needed, as well as financial support. Meals can be prepared. Students can be sponsored for the STEP Program. Canned foods, clothing, and household items can be donated.
Garber UMC supports RCS monetarily through the annual giving budget and through multiple food drives and short-term projects yearly.
Backpack Blessings is a 501 C (3) non-profit, formed in December of 2012 for the sole purpose of feeding hungry children in eastern North Carolina. Financial partnership with area churches and businessesallows Backpack Blessings to help students in our area who experience food insecurity in their homes.
Four times a year, Backpack Blessings hosts a “build” where 1.5 gallon Ziploc bags are filled with nutritious and filling snacks for children attending school in Craven, Jones, and Pamlico Counties. A typical bag might contain a mac ‘n cheese microwave bowl, 1-2 individual cereal bowls, granola bars, nabs, a fruit cup, a pudding cup, individual sized beanie weenies or pasta, an oatmeal packet, and other items as available at the NC Food Bank. The snacks are chosen by kid-friendliness in packaging and taste, availability, ease of preparation.
Backpack Blessings purchases food by the pound from the NC Food Bank, depending on availability of needed items. Food Lion is also a major source of purchasing, providing discounts and bulk ordering. Over ____ pallets of food are needed for each large build.
The children who receive BPB services are designated by their school guidance counselors and the bags of food are discretely given to them each Friday by these counselors. BPB serves all elementary and middle schools in these three counties with over 12,000 food bags per semester. They also provide food for high school students who attend night school classes when there is no cafeteria service.
Backpack Blessings also serves many of these children with a summer feeding program. Summer Blessings was created because in the summer months the children are away from the safety of the child nutrition programs in their schools. Larger quantities are given to the families, including family sized cereals, pasta/sauce, pancake mix, fresh vegetables and frozen meats, peanut butter and jelly, and canned foods.
The newest program is the Holiday Blessings, which provides a turkey or ham, and all the holiday fixings for Christmas, as well as other food items for meals. These boxes hopefully help alleviate the stress of food over the holiday break.
A Faith Based, 12-Step Residential Recovery Program
Reviving Lives Ministry (RLM) assists men and women who are dealing with the devastating consequences of substance abuse and addiction to find and maintain recovery. RLM provides separate clean/sober and substance free residential home environments for both men and women, and a structured faith-based 12 Step Recovery Program. Participants live within a structured environment, have responsibilities within the house, are engaged in faith-based 12-Step Classes, daily AA/NA meetings, and required to meet certain educational, vocational, spiritual, wellness and life skills training. Participants may remain in the program for up to two years as long as they continue to adhere to the rules of the program.
The RLM Mission: RLM believes there is a solution to addiction. We seek to carry the message of the faith based 12-Step Program to all who suffer from addiction. We believe anyone who suffers from the chaos of addiction can move forward toward the serenity of sobriety. We seek to offer to each person who comes through our doors the opportunity to live each day with willingness, honesty and open-mindedness, and further to walk toward their own “Spiritual Awakening” and personal restoration. We intend to support the sick and suffering in our community by offering a structured residential recovery program for eligible men and women in need.
Appalachia Service Project
Garber Church has a long standing relationship with the Appalachia Service Project. For 20 years teams of youth and adults have made the trip to the Appalachian region to serve the people there thru home repair and forming relationships. The teams have found welcoming and thankful people, learned alot about the Appalachian culture, and made lasting memories.
The height of beauty, the depths of poverty.
How can a region so rich in natural resources be so poor?
You can't build factories on mountainsides. You can't plant crops. And for more than a hundred years, large corporations have extracted natural resources while putting little back in the form of taxes or community support.
The result is that jobs are few and far between. For many of these families, their modest houses -- handed down from generation to generation -- are the only real possession they have. But houses need maintenance. And when you don't even have money to put shoes on your kids' feet, fixing a hole in the roof is a low priority.
As a result, the homes are crumbling. Walls buckle. Roofs leak. And sagging floors pose hazards to the elderly and the very young.
Into this bleak environment, ASP shines a ray of hope. With help from volunteers like you, we repair more homes than any agency working in Appalachia.
ASP likes to say that their goal is to make homes "warmer, safer and drier." And for more than 40 years, they've done exactly that for 14,000 families. Yet for all that, they are only able to serve one in ten families who apply for help. Many, many more volunteers are needed to make a lasting dent in Appalachian poverty. In other words, we need you!
Your volunteer work will give a special family some financial breathing room to concentrate on more important things. Like feeding their kids; looking for work; and, making plans for the future.
Best of all, your presence will touch their lives and remind them that compassion knows no boundaries, and that not even the highest hills and deepest hollows can separate them from God's love.
Here are some facts:
In the Central Appalachian region...
•Poverty is more than double the national average
•One in four lives below the poverty level-105,000 children, 195,000 adults, and 35,000 elderly
•62,500 homes are substandard
•19,000 homes lack adequate kitchens
•21,000 homes lack complete plumbing
•Nearly half of the families have annual household incomes below $20,000