By Kay Whatley, Editor
On Saturday, July 15, 2017, Now Faith Community Baptist Church in Knightdale, North Carolina, was bustling with activity. People filled the church’s multipurpose building for a free clothing, school supplies, and lunch event. The third Saturday of each month, Now Faith and Dream Coat Ministries — also in Knightdale — hold an “Around The Tables” event, where people are invited to come select what they need from free clothing on round tables, and to stay for fellowship over a meal.
Sheila Prosser, founder of nonprofit Dream Coat Ministries, explains that their ability to provide free clothing to families helps each of those families stretch their budget farther.
Anyone may come for and select clothing from the 40+ boxes of clothing laid out at each event. Tables covered with clothing is separated onto tables marked clearly for infants, girls, boys, men, and women.
Shoes line the wall, with children and adults selecting what they need. On the other side of the room, a table full of books for all ages is surrounded. While clothing was being selected from the tables, church members and volunteers readied the meal, served at noon for anyone who wanted. Now Faith provides a meal to those who come to the monthly event. They even gave away bags of onions.
Kim Ferrell with Now Faith and her volunteers worked in the kitchen preparing a meal of chili, cornbread, drinks, and more to feed the crowd at noon. The church supports Dream Coat and makes the meal happen on the third Saturday of each month. Dozens made a place at the round tables by the kitchen and shared a meal with their families, bags of selected clothing at their feet.
In addition to the Dream Coat giveaway and the lunch provided by Now Faith’s church volunteers, this particular Saturday included a backpack giveaway. Dream Coat has been signing up children and teens, then checking their schools for exactly what each child needed. Supplies were collected for weeks to ensure each child had what was required by their grade and school. Corporate and individual donors dropped off the supplies, and on Saturday each student selected a backpack, filled it with the needed supplies from a long table covered with donated paper, writing implements, erasers, folders, and so much more. Each child received an empty backpack and then chose their supplies, with help from volunteers and their parents carrying school supply lists that Dream Coat had printed for each child.
While students chose their supplies, Dream Coat volunteers at the end of the table signed up new children and teens, who will be provided with supplies at the August event at Now Faith. It’s an ongoing need, and no child is turned away.
Thanks to a donation from BB&T — whose volunteers were also helping during Saturday’s event — several cases of L.L. Bean backpacks were available for the kids. Through the BB&T “lighthouse project” the bank provides low-income families with school supplies.
Sheila Prosser cares about families and individuals who need food and clothing. She helps so many families to stretch their money farther by providing some of their basic needs for free. Money is tight and belts are tightened around the area. Sheila, volunteers Helen (who has been volunteering for two years), Josie (who’s been a volunteer since 2012), Daryl, Monica Lee, and a host of others are pushing the limits to make a difference in people’s quality of life and ability to make their household income stretch.
The Saturday event gives a boost to the community by providing some of what the local, struggling families need. It’s good work, necessary work, and helps many to stretch their household budgets. These are tough times, and Dream Coat is on the front lines making a difference for many.
The next “Around The Tables” date is August 19, 2017.
And, you can be a part of it. The work Dream Coat Ministries does is made possible by donations from the community and corporate donors. Help them to make a difference by donating funds, goods, or time. Dream Coat Ministries is located at 861 Old Knight Road, Suite 112, in Knightdale NC. (Location is in the plaza just behind Bojangles.)
Dream Coat also needs regular funding. They welcome one-time monetary donations or monthly financial commitments. Check with your employer to see if they would consider Dream Coat for their annual donations. Wells Fargo recently provided funding, part of which may be used to expand their thrift store space. The nonprofit is even set up with the Amazon.com “Smile” program, so that you may choose them as your nonprofit of choice at smile.amazon.com and make an online purchase, a portion of your purchase goes to Dream Coat Ministries.
Make a difference by donating what you no longer need. Donate goods to dream coats and Sheila and her volunteers will use them to make an even bigger difference to families in the community. Dream Coat is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and accepts donations of clothing, shoes, books, household items, and the like. If you’re cleaning out your kids’ clothing — or adult clothing — before school shopping, drop them off for a donation receipt / tax receipt. Donations are either sold in the store to raise funds, or given away at local events like the one at Now Faith Community Baptist Church. Your cleaning and donations can help families in the area in need of clothing for their children.
Volunteers help to sort and iron clothing, preparing some for sale in the nonprofit’s thrift shop, and boxing others for transport to events at local churches. Can you spare some time? Shop volunteers often stay for years, working together in the shop.
If volunteering is not an option, Dream Coat’s store needs customers. Proceeds from sale of items in the Knightdale shop support their community work. Check out their inventory and pick up the work clothes, play clothes, shoes, books, or other goods for your household. You help the nonprofit by shopping.
Call Dream Coat Ministries and let them know what you have to offer. Note that they have a coat / winter clothing drive coming up in November 2017, and big plans for a Thanksgiving Sunday.
To find out more about Dream Coat Ministries work, their Knightdale store, or to lend them a hand, visit dreamcoatknightdale.org or call Sheila Prosser at 919.217.2001. You might just find that helping them makes a difference in your life, too.
Now Faith Community Baptist Church is online at www.nowfaithcbc.org.