Chester Ministerial Association Food Pantry
For more than 40 years, the Chester Ministerial Association’s Food Pantry at Purity Presbyterian Church has provided sustenance for thousands of hungry individuals and families. In 2015, the Food Pantry adopted changes to its service model to better preserve the dignity and offer choices to the clients it serves. Instead of pre-bagged selections, clients at the Food Pantry now “shop” with a volunteer for the items they like, using a point system based on the household size. An appointment system ensures that clients receive personalized service. As a result, the Food Pantry is even more welcoming and provides a meaningful and rewarding experience to both clients and volunteers.
Kershaw Area Resource Exchange – KARE
In 1982, KARE was formed to help the victims of local tornadoes get back on their feet. Since then, this Christian organization has grown from an all-volunteer agency providing short-term relief to a comprehensive support organization that brings multiple churches together to provide food assistance, home repair, clothing, transportation and other services in addition to crisis support. It mobilizes hundreds of volunteers each year and operates a full-time summer program to provide outreach, growth and service for teens. KARE also operated a medical clinic for several years to meet the needs of uninsured patients — one of the precursors to the creation of Lancaster County CareNet. As one fan described it, “KARE has and continues to be the agency that provides assistance for all.”
Habitat for Humanity of York County
Since 1998, Habitat for Humanity of York County has helped bring people together to provide decent, affordable housing for hardworking families in need. While most people think of new houses when they think of Habitat, completing repairs to existing family homes is a much more efficient way to ensure consistent housing and stability. With this in mind, Habitat of York County launched a home repair program for the Paradise neighborhood in Fort Mill in 2014, and has since offered significant repairs on 42 homes, mostly owned by senior citizens. Habitat volunteers have repaired roofs, walls, wiring and plumbing. They installed ramps, modernized kitchens and made aesthetic improvements such as interior and exterior painting. Habitat also has partnered with Lowes and Keller Williams Realty to help homeowners learn some maintenance skills.
Other nominees for the 2016 Fabric of Community Awards were:
- In Chester County: Chester County Connector and The Lord’s Lunchbox
- In Lancaster County: The Community Powerhouse and the Women’s Enrichment Center
- In York County: Girls on the Run Tri County SC and Keystone Substance Abuse Services