Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM) in 2012 served more meals, and provided more safe nights for individuals and families, since it opened 31 years ago.Thousands more people were able to stay in their own homes, keep their utilities on and, in some cases, receive life-saving medications. Executive Director Ed Hosack said none of the nonprofit’s work throughout Cabarrus County would be possible without the help of the community.That’s why CCM will host five community Holiday Open House events at various ministry locations throughout Cabarrus County. The open houses run 2-4 p.m. Dec. 19 at CCM’s Crisis Center, Day Center and administrative office, The Mothers & Children Housing Ministry, and the Samaritan House Soup Kitchen & Night Shelter.“It is almost impossible to account for all of the people who contribute in some way to the ministries of CCM, but given the opportunity, we want to say ‘Thank you,’ ” said Hosack. “Anyone who has been a part of CCM or would like to learn more about CCM is welcomed to drop in during our Holiday Open House.”Staff and volunteers will be at each site to greet guests, give tours and answer questions about CCM.“We’re just inviting people to drop in at any one – or all five – of the locations to enjoy refreshments and allow staff to say thank you for the blessings they bring to the lives we touch,” Hosack said. Cooperative Christian Ministry aims to provide immediate assistance to people experiencing a need for food, shelter or finances – all while providing access to various community resources. While the need for CCM to provide financial assistance has decreased, the need for housing/shelter and groceries has roughly doubled since 2008. The total number of meals served has hovered in the low 30,000s since 2008, but climbed to nearly 38,000 this year.CCM opened a small office in 1981 with just a handful of volunteers. The nonprofit started by providing financial assistance, as well as canned food and clothing. About 3,000 people received assistance its inaugural year.Since then, churches, civic groups, organizations and individuals have a played a role in its expansion and outreach efforts by volunteering and donating money.First Presbyterian in Concord established the Samaritan House Soup Kitchen in 1983 to serve a hot lunch to the hungry. All Saints Episcopal in Concord established the Winter Night Shelter at the same location. In 1985, with the support of several Kannapolis churches, Kannapolis Christian Ministry opened. By the end of 1985, 60-plus churches were contributing to CCM. During the next few years, at the request of the church’s respective boards, the organizations were operated by CCM.In 1989, All Saints Episcopal helped fund the building of a permanent home for CCM on Country Club Drive in Concord. In 1990, 105 churches contributed, and 500 volunteers helped deliver the services of CCM. In 2000, the Night Shelter became a year-round facility serving men, women and children.CCM emerged as a community leader after the 2003 closing of Pillowtex, which resulted in the largest mass layoff in the history of North Carolina. CCM partnered with public, private and faith-based organizations to respond to the economic crisis, and developed a model of service and cooperation that still exists throughout the county.In 2006, Cooperative Christian Ministry and 800-plus volunteers helped to provide food, shelter or financial assistance to more than 20,000 people.Today more than 130 churches and 100-plus businesses and other organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, support the ministry.
Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012
Holiday open houses set for Dec. 19
CCM marks its busiest year since opening
Want to go? What: Cooperative Christian Ministry will host five Holiday Open House events. When: 2-4 p.m. Dec. 19. Where: • CCM’s Crisis Center (Financial Assistance and Food Ministries), 246 Country Club Drive NE, Concord. • Samaritan House Soup Kitchen & Night Shelter, 216 Patterson Ave. SE, Concord. • CCM’s Day Center (My Father’s House and Philip’s Station Ministries), 769 Sunderland Road SW, Concord. • The Mothers & Children Housing Ministry, 274 Spring St. NW, Concord. • CCM’s Administrative Office, 1578 Dale Earnhardt Blvd., Kannapolis. Details: 704-490-4245 or www.cooperativeministry.com. How CCM helps • Groceries (total served): 2008- 33,205 people; 2009- 44,397; 2010/11- 46,489; 2011/12- 59,241. • Meals (total served): 2008- 31,855; 2009- 30,721; 2010/11- 30,210; 2011/12- 37,691. • Shelter & Housing (total served): 2008- 11,328; 2009- 12,034; 2010/11- 19,022; 2011/12- 25,606. • Financial Assistance (total served): 2008- 1,741; 2009- 1,792; 2010/11- 1,350; 2011/12- 1,335.