Diane Cogsdell began feeding the homeless in the streets of Washington, D.C., then in the Charlotte area and now in Monroe.She started by distributing 30 sandwiches, but quickly ran out.“Thirty sandwiches turned into 230,” she said. “The line was still long.”With more than 15 years of experience as a supervisor in various government offices as part of the Department of Social Services, she founded Theophilos III Ministry in 2009 to provide a variety of community services.The name, she said, was “God-inspired.”The Theophilos Resource Center is located at 206 N. Hayne Street, Suite A. They currently serve 70 clients and the ministry is negotiating with the Monroe Housing Authority to provide services to all their clients too.“I was inspired because every year we hear about charities helping in November and December,” Cogsdell said. “What about January through October?”Run by volunteers, the organization reaches out to homeless and impoverished areas to feed, educate and encourage people.“(We’re) promoting self-sufficiency in an effort to produce productive citizens of society,” Cogsdell said. “We give a hand up, not a hand out.”In collaboration with Keith Adams at Common Cupboard Food Pantry, Theophilos volunteers help feed the homeless two or three times a month. They provide sandwiches, fried chicken, chips, soda, cookies and water.“We have people crying in the streets because the need is so great,” Cogsdell said.The organization has assisted with barbeques and fish fry events at local shelters. Cogsdell provides Bible study to those interested. She helps people learn to manage finances. A prison ministry she calls “Touched by an Angel” has sent hundreds of letters to prisoners all over the world.And the list goes on.She and volunteers also provide “Day of Pampering” events to clients at Turning Point Shelter for Battered Women in Monroe.“A Carnival Day” event is put on for the children at the shelter, where they play games and bake cookies.
Monday, Jan. 07, 2013
Monroe ministry helps homeless
Theophilos III helps people in need year round
Diane Cogsdell, second from the right, with a group of Theophilos III ministry volunteers.
Learn more: Interested in volunteering or in need of assistance? Contact Diane Cogsdell for an appointment at 704- 635-8860 (office) or 240-678-0143 (cell).Visit www.theophilos3ministries.com/.