Roy, a quality assurance specialist for just about his entire career, retired from the Niagara Mohawk nuclear power plant in Upstate New York. He’s been married to his wife Jean for 58 years.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
If there’s one person who knows everything there is to know about the
, it’s Roy Fenton. Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry has been a volunteer at the Ministry for 20 years, since Lois Nix was the director. During that time, he says, “I’ve done a little bit of everything.” More like a lot. Roy is a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, and he’s the Building & Grounds director. He also partners with volunteer Chuck Williams to oversee the pantry, making sure it’s stocked and making grocery runs to replenish the shelves. Roy
Christmas is an exciting time at the Ministry, even if it is busy! Volunteer Helen Krauss did a great job setting up the Christmas rooms, and had a team of volunteers to help 60 families select gifts for 106 children. While we often ran low on gifts, people continued to come to the rescue in large numbers. Special thanks to the Ninth Annual Black Mountain Christmas Run, who brought two truckloads of toys collected from many businesses and organizations as well as financial gifts and food.
Johnny Raines and Connie Pruitt helped clients with applications for Christmas and helped get financial contributions and gifts. Connie led the program for the second year, matching sponsors with client families. Thanks to the community effort, almost 400 children/youth were able to have Christmas. We are especially thankful to 106.9 The Light for finding sponsors for 24 families or 42 children/youth; to Meadowbrook Baptist for providing a meal and gifts for 16 families or 29 children/youth; and residents of the Valley for sponsoring the remaining families and who made it possible for us to provide 48 gift certificates to school age youth.
It’s impossible to name everyone who helped make Christmas possible, but through God everything came together and for that we are thankful!
Winter didn’t arrive with the same bang as it did last year, but the demand for assistance was still high, and Nov. 1 once again saw the Ministry’s waiting room filled with clients needing help with their heating bills. By the time 2011 ended, SVCM logged a total of 14,200 client services, compared to 12,203 in 2010 — an increase of just under 2,000.
The Ministry also gave away a huge amount of food in 2011, most of it from in-kind donations. The value of this food for the year was $295,080, and the value of all in-kind donations dispensed last year (including clothing and household goods/furnishings) was $389,450. A considerable amount of food is also purchased — from MANNA at a discount, and from local stores.
None of this would be possible without the help of the various congregations and others in the Valley — people who care enough about their less-fortunate neighbors to share what they have with them. The Ministry continues to be blessed by the community’s generosity.
The Swannanoa Valley Emergency Shelter, operating since Nov. 1, has had guests for 40 nights as of Jan. 9 (as many as 12 in one night). Of the 40 different people served thus far, most were from the Valley, with just a few transients. Thanks to the generosity of the churches and individuals in the Valley, the shelter now has a handicap-accessible shower, and in the near future a laundry facility will also be available for shelter guests. We are greatly indebted to First Baptist Church of Black Mountain for facilitating the changes to their Fellowship Hall area that made the Shelter possible. The shelter is also blessed by the generosity of the volunteers who staff the shelter, and by the Valley churches that provide meals for shelter guests. Thanks to everyone who’s given of their time, money, and talents to make life a little easier for our friends in the Valley who are in need of shelter, food, and fellowship. — Bill Walker, Volunteer Coordinator.
Help celebrate Souper Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, by bringing one of the following to church: a can of soup, a box of crackers, a can of pinto or kidney beans, a package of chili seasoning, a can of diced tomatoes, or a small donation. All donations go to the Ministry pantry.
Our thanks to Bill and Pat Williamson and our friends at the Highland Farms Retirement Community for the
Fuel Fund Drive, which is currently ongoing and has raised about $4,000 thus far. When the drive concludes, the funds will help provide heat to Ministry clients who are hurting in these financially difficult times.
The giving spirit at Christmas has been wonderful; however, the food pantry needs to be replenished. Food items needed at this time include: Peanut Butter, Sugar, Saltine Crackers, Coffee, Jelly, All Purpose Flour, Tea bags, Cereal, Cooking Oil, Dry Beans, Jell-O, Macaroni and Cheese, Dry Pasta and Canned items including: Fruit, Soup, Corn, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Vegetables, and Beans. Also needed are hygiene items: Soap, Shampoo, Toilet Paper, Toothbrushes, and Deodorant.
Conceived just a few years ago, the HALO Card program continues to be a Christmas favorite among friends of the Ministry, and each year more and more people find out just how satisfying it can be to give a gift that gives. HALO Cards, of course, represent donations to the Ministry that are given in the name of a friend or loved one. During this Christmas season, over $17,000 was raised through HALO card and general holiday donations, with the funds destined to help Valley families and individuals in need.