Shinn column: No vacation from work of mission
By Susan Shinn
CHINA GROVE ó The week of the Fourth of July has traditionally meant vacation time for folks here.
But Anne Corriher will continue to serve the same amount of families she always serves ó 200 families each month.
Anne, 48, is director of Main Street Mission, 306 S. Main St. She recently received the Service Above Self Award by China Grove Rotarians.
“I am still in shock,” Anne said last week over iced coffee at Dixie’s. “I don’t even know what I said.”
Maybe not, but Anne does have a lot to say when it comes to her work.
Anne took a foreign mission trip in 2002. When she got home, she decided she wanted to get involved in her own community. That’s when she heard about Main Street Mission, which opened that same year. Anne began volunteering there, eventually becoming its director in September 2006.
The phone call requesting that Anne take over the position gave her pause.
“I knew it was hard work, and very draining physically, emotionally and spiritually,” she says.
She prayed hard about it, and husband Clark encouraged her.
Anne has a degree in sociology and social work, and this position marks the first time she’s used the degree.
“That was kinda funny and strange in itself,” she says. “It went along with my heart, too. I’ve always wanted to find a way to give back and to serve.”
Main Street Mission is open 1:30-4 p.m. Monday and Friday; and 8:30-11 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday for distribution of groceries. A hot meal is served on Wednesdays beginning at 5:30 p.m. “We like to get to know our customers and their needs,” Anne says.
Customers may come for groceries every two weeks. The mission serves disabled and elderly clients as well as people who have been affected by recent plant closings.
Anne was a volunteer when Pillowtex closed.
“It was unreal seeing the need,” she says.
Now, some of those former clients give back. One woman brings groceries every month. Another sends a check.
They couldn’t have made it without the mission’s help, they say.
With the current economy, Anne is seeing more new people. She’s not seeing some regular customers; she suspects they can’t get there because of high gas prices.
Like other food pantries, Main Street Mission struggles in the summertime when school is out.
“Schools are an active part of our program,” Anne says.
A lot of people tend to travel in summertime and may forget about the mission. But the need is still there. Anne strives to give each customer support and encouragement.
The mission, she says, “is just a wonderful place for our community to show compassion.”Anne can always use donations of food, and help from volunteers, especially with picking up donations from Second Harvest Food Bank in Charlotte. The mission also receives daily donations from the deli at Food Lion in China Grove.
If you’d like to help, call Main Street Mission at 704-855-2909.