Reina P. Cunningham
The Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM) is in need of donations as a result of increasing food prices. The organization relies heavily on donations to continue serving Middlesboro residents during time of need.
Peanut butter has always been considered a food staple at CCM. However, rising costs and dwindling donations of the long time staple have resulted in the plea for help. Other items needed are pasta, sauce and canned goods.
CCM has several programs operating daily. These include the food pantry and hygiene program, medical related assistance, a clothing room, utility assistance, emergency relocation program and the transient ministry are year-round programs.
The food pantry and hygiene program provide food and necessary items for families in need. CCM food baskets are nutritionally balanced and sufficient to feed a family for five to six days. The food pantry and hygiene program are considered an emergency service, therefore provided at a maximum of once every three months.
In addition to providing food, the baskets include hygiene items include soap, shampoo, toilet paper, laundry detergent and toothpaste.
CCM offers medical related assistance for individuals who cannot afford to purchase medications and gasoline for individuals who need out-of-town medical testing or treatment.
The clothing room at CCM operates as a thrift store. The clothing provided is primarily donated from individuals and sold at 25 cents and up for those who can afford the fee.
However, CCM will give 10 pieces of clothing per family member for those unable to afford the fee. This service is only available once every three months for a maximum of three times a year.
CCM also helps families keep utilities in service by paying all or part of the bills when disconnection of service is imminent. This is also considered an emergency service, only provided twice a year. CCM does not pay deposits or assist with telephone or cable bills.
The emergency relocation program is for families dislocated due to domestic violence, fire or another emergency. CCM provides a relocation box containing dishes, cookware, sheets, blankets and towels and the food and hygiene pack.
The transient ministry provides food and shelter referral for people from outside the Middlesboro area who are traveling through and need assistance.
Annual projects at CCM include the “Summer Breeze” Project and “Toys for Kids at Christmas.”
The Summer Breeze project ensures the elderly, the sick and families with young children are provided with fans during the hot summer months. CCM asks for the fans to be returned each October so they are able to provide the service again the next summer.
Toys for Kids at Christmas provides gifts to more than 100 children each year at Christmas. Funds for the toys come from local churches and private donations. CCM tries to provide each child with a pair of pajamas, a new book and a new sweat shirt.
If you or someone you know is in need or would like to make a donation, CCM is located at 2124 Cumberland Avenue in Middlesboro. You can call CCM at 606-248-8022 for additional information about donating or receiving aid.
Reina Parker Cunningham is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 205.