An advocate, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal.” Without the support of this community and the admirable time spent by each and every volunteer, staff and board member of CareNet, we would not be able to maintain our cause in the mission to provide for our neighbors that are less fortunate.
In 2012, CareNet, with the help of over 125,734 lbs. of food donated by members of the Macon County community distributed 292,420 lbs. of food to families in need through our food pantry, our soup café, TEFAP and our backpack program. In addition to the assistance provided through our food pantry, we were able to serve 13,011 meals through our soup café and delivered over 15,425 backpacks to school children in need, through our backpack program. While the numbers may be alarming now, we certainly realize we’re just scratching the surface of the real issue at hand. With the ongoing discussion in Washington over our nation’s rising debt, poverty rates and unemployment it would seem that the end may never be in sight?
We see the toll all of these issues have on our society, firsthand through CareNet’s clientele. Not a day goes by, that we don’t hear the stories of residents who have had to file for unemployment or make the inconceivable decision between paying their rent/mortgage for the month and providing food for their family for the week. These decisions are made a little less wavering by the ongoing support provided through financial assistance here at CareNet, when funds are available, in 2012 alone over 890 families were assisted financially with a total of $122,000 in funds to pay for the following needs: electrical, water, prescriptions (non-narcotics only) and heating/cooling bills. This does not include the additional assistance being administered through the Emergency Heat Assist funds from Macon County DSS in the amount of $158,928.00. The community outreach programs that have been established and administered here at CareNet continue to aide in the attempts to ‘bridge the gap during times of crises’; however, we could never achieve such feats without the generosity and support of such a wonderful community! Whether it be the annual food drives conducted by members of various organizations (civic groups, businesses, churches, etc.) or students like 4th grader Emme Shepherd (Cartoogechaye Elementary) who collected 196 lbs. of food by enlisting the help of her family and friends to support the CareNet food pantry. The blessings never cease when it comes to individuals giving of their time and heart in the effort to provide for a neighbor in need.
We thank you. We thank you for being an advocate in the fight to end hunger, the fight to end poverty and the overall compassion you have and continue to share for your neighbors during times of crisis. Together with your help, we will continue to meet the needs of this community and strengthen the faith of those less fortunate. Scripture says, “But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish”-Psalm 9:18
Thank you and God Bless!
Executive Director, CareNet