Sharing the season: Number of people seeking assistance grows

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Elizabeth Cook
The number of families getting Medicaid and government food assistance in Rowan County increased by more than 900 between July and the end of October this year.
Patients receiving free health and dental care at the Community Care Clinic doubled to 1,500 from last year to this.
And on one cold day in late November, Rowan Helping Ministries interviewed 117 households seeking help, distributed 2,550 pounds of groceries and gave out $4,500 in financial assistance vouchers.
That’s one day.
Undeniably, the number of people needing help has grown in 2008.
And those people have a hard time waiting for government offices to process their applications, says Sandra Wilkes, Social Services director.
“When they come to us for help,” Wilkes says, “they need it immediately,”
How does a community respond?
The people and businesses of Rowan County respond by supporting a host of agencies that help people through hard times.
They support agencies that help people through difficult situations, like a family left homeless by a house fire, an elderly relative who can’t be left alone, a troubled child who has no responsible adult to serve as a role model.
And they support agencies that enhance the quality of life here ó educating children, protecting animals, promoting the arts, preserving local history.
Below is a list of area nonprofits and their wish lists for 2008. Times are tight, but if you’re not waiting in line for assistance, maybe you can help someone who is.
The agencies need money, volunteers and a wide variety of items. Examples include an aluminum camper shell, school uniforms, folding chairs, computer software, horse feed, 150 bottles of body lotion, Angel Tree gifts for 880 children, a marquee for the Fisher Street Theater and paper products ó tons of paper products.
As virtually every agency said, “no gift is too small.”
Here’s the list:
Abundant Living Adult Day Services Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Volunteers are needed to help with activities, provide extra hands and help with small group and individual time.
Also needed are household supplies, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer and tissues.
Office supplies: Copy paper, legal pads, manila folders, postage stamps, 2-inch, three-ring binders with pocket.
Craft supplies: Glue sticks, scissors, wax paper.
Bingo prizes: Socks (dress or sport), lipstick, costume jewelry, dollar store items, handkerchiefs, scarves, lotion.
Health care: Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment.
Adolescent and Family Enrichment Council of Rowan County450 W. Jake Alexander Blvd.
Salisbury, NC 28147
Wish List: Educational toys, birth-5; children’s books, birth-5, easy readers; disposable diapers; new infant seats, bouncy seats and strollers or other baby equipment.
Contact: Rita Kotarsky, 704-630-0481,
E.H.Dole Chapter,
American Red Cross1930 Jake Alexander Blvd. W. Salisbury, NC 28147
Wish List: Cash contributions in any amount, copy paper and office supplies of all kinds, a laminator for volunteer ID cards, standup freezer, ice maker, hand truck, gasoline pressure washer, aluminum camper shell for pickup truck, 64 inches-by 94 inches by 3 or 4 feet.
Also, two executive-type office chairs and two trailer hitches.
Contact: Steve Simpson, executive director, 704-633-3854,
Web site:
The Arc of Rowan1918 W. Innes St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Originally for people with mental retardation and related disorders, The Arc provides public awareness, support groups, summer day program for a children, a week-long summer camp experience for adults, monthly dances for adults, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Program, special events, support for school services, and information for families.
Arc/Rowan places the greatest emphasis on providing assistance to people with mental retardation so each person can learn, live, work, recreate and realize their personal goals.
Needs: Volunteers, donations and money earmarked for Operation Santa campaign.
Contact: Jane Jackman or Sheila Sapp at 704-637-1521.
Carolina Artists Guild Provides opportunities for local artists to be recognized within Rowan County.
Needs: Volunteers to help with art shows and community projects, sponsors, display easels, artists interested in sharing their expertise.
Contact: Janet Isenhour 704-209-9968
Web site: www.carolinaartist. org
Christmas HappinessP.O. Box 4639
Salisbury, NC 28145-4639
Donations given to the fund, established by the Salisbury Post, go to the Department of Social Services to be given out in vouchers for needy children so that they may have a Christmas gift ó $30 per child, maximum $120 for a family. Vouchers are good at selected stores.
Need: Contributions, which may be listed in honor or in memory of someone, if wanted. DSS says 825 families applied for Christmas Happiness Dec. 1-4.
Contact: Elizabeth Cook, 704-797-4244
Community Care Clinic
315 G, Mocksville Ave.
Salisbury, NC 28144
A non-profit organization that provides free medical care, dental care and prescription medications to low-income uninsured residents of Rowan County.
Needs: Monetary donations. Volunteers (medical and non-medical) for both day and evening clinics Monday-Friday. Need pharmacists and pharmacists assistants. Volunteers to make contributions to help with program operations and to purchase medicines.
Contact: Call Connie Antosek at 704-636-4523.
Communities In Schools of Rowan County
204 E. Innes Street Suite 240
Salisbury, NC 28144
Wish list: Volunteers, funds to expand program, school uniforms, belts, locking filing cabinet
Contact: Vicky Slusser, 704-797-0210 or
Web site:
Faithful Friends
Animal Sanctuary
P.O. Box 3097
Salisbury, NC 28145
Wish list: Garbage cans for recyclable cans to raise money, cages, carriers and traps, Gentle Leader Dog Training halters, toys, plastic dog houses, storage containers, bleachable bedding, towels, blankets, office supplies, cleaning supplies, bulletin boards, dry erase boards, fencing.
Web site:
Family Crisis Council131 W. Council St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Adopt-a-Week Sponsors: The council is looking for individuals or groups to adopt a week at the shelter. During your scheduled week, each group would purchase two gallons of milk, three loaves of bread, two dozen eggs and one pack of butter for the shelter. Groups are always welcome to add additional food items if they wish. Items are usual delivered on Sunday or Monday.
Adopt-a-Family Sponsors: Survivors of domestic violence often start over with very few household goods, if any. Consider sponsoring a specific family by providing furniture, beds (inflatable mattresses work too), or kitchen supplies such as pots, pans, dishes, silverware and glasses.
General wish list: Umbrellas; cleaning supplies (Clorox wipes, Pine-Sol, bleach, bathroom cleaner, magic erase, laundry soap, mops); children’s Motrin; antibiotic ointment; automatic blood pressure cuff; forehead thermometers; educational toys for infants to teenagers; diapers size 3-5; children’s movies on DVD; pack & plays; alarm clocks; hampers; new pots and pans; gift cards for Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, COSTCO, Sam’s, Office Depot, Lowe’s Hardware, Wal-Mart, Food Lion, or fun outings such as movie theaters or bowling; under-bed storage units; durable outdoor playground equipment; towels; twin sheets; blankets, comforters, pillows. No clothes, please.Ambitious wish list: Adobe Acrobat software; Dyson (heavy duty) vacuum; Laptop and LCD projector for presentations; high volume laser printer; van or car to aid in transportation needs; industrial high capacity dishwasher.
Volunteers: We are seeking volunteers to help in a variety of ways. Everyone has a talent to share. Please call Sherri Hill at 704-636-4718 ext. 1053 to learn more. Whether you can give one hour a month or 50, your time will be extremely appreciated!
Contact: Jeanne J. Preisler, executive director
Call with questions: 704-636-4718 ext. 1057
Web site:
GodStockP.O. Box 661
China Grove, NC 28023
Assists families of chronically ill children with equipment or money to maintain the household. The Christian-based organization was established to help families from any background and religion. Various fundraisers are held throughout the year to provide funding for Community Assistance Fund.
Needs: Donations. Volunteers to promote events. Groups interested in seeing a DVD about Godstock.
Contact: John Bouk at 704-857-7011 or e-mail him at
Good Shepherd Clinic120 N. Jackson St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Provides outpatient primary care for the indigent adults on a first-come, first-served basis. Volunteer health-care professionals staff the clinic on Thursdays.
Needs: Volunteer physicians, nurses, medical educators and pharmacists, social workers, other human service specialists and someone to provide strong spiritual support. Money for operating costs and Hispanic Bibles are needed. Volunteers to act as host, greeter and registrar during clinic.
Items: Paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, tissues), copier paper, cleaning supplies, books for children waiting with parents.
Contact: Kathy Eagle, 704-636-7200.
Guardian Ad Litem310 N. Main St.
P.O. Box 4599
Salisbury, NC 28145
Court-appointed, trained community volunteers are paired with an attorney as child advocates to represent the best interest of abused or neglected children in the court system.
Needs: Volunteers to be trained as guardians. Folding chairs to use around conference table.
Contact: Amy Collins, 704-639-7517 or e-mail for a volunteer application. Additional information for the Guardian ad Litem Program is available online at
Habitat for Humanity of RowanPO Box 3356
Salisbury, NC 28145-3356
Needs: Volunteers to help build houses with families, to help in the Habitat ReStore and to help with semi-annual barbecue chicken dinners. Donations of money and land are appreciated.
(Families interested in applying for a Habitat home are invited to pick up an application packet from the ReStore at 125 E. Innes St.)
Contact: 704-642-6292,
Historic Salisbury Foundation
Post Office Box 4221
Salisbury, NC 28144
Established in 1972, Historic Salisbury Foundation is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the historic character of Salisbury and Rowan County. Operates the Josephus W. Hall House Museum and the Historic Salisbury Station Special Events Center, as well as a Neighborhood Revitalization Program.
Needs: Contributions to the repairing of the Salisbury Station roof; volunteers to be docents and guides at the Josephus W. Hall House on weekends and special events; donation of time from experts in marketing and publicity to implement marketing plan; 50 new memberships before the end of the year at any level; individuals and groups to rent the Salisbury Station for parties, receptions, etc, in January, February and March 2009
Contact: Contact Bunny Howell at 704-636-0103
Web site:
Horse Protection Society
of North Carolina
2135 Miller Road
China Grove, NC 28023
Provides a sanctuary of last resort for unwanted, neglected and abused horses.
Needs: Used saddles, feed (call for feed type), money to buy hay and feed.
To help: Contact Joan Benson, 704-856-0790.
Humane Society
of Rowan County
PO Box 295
Salisbury, NC 28145-0295
Needs:- Volunteers to be foster caregivers for animals awaiting permanent homes, to participate in the rescue of sick and injured stray and abandoned animals and to participate in fundraising and other events.
– Pet food for foster care homes and for families in need of assistance and new or used doghouses in good condition
are needed.
– Monetary donations are tax deductible and may be specified for the medical care of stray and abandoned animals, spay/neuter assistance or other outreach services of the organization.
Contact: 704-636-5700,
Lutheran Homes820 Klumac Road
Salisbury, NC 28144For Christmas stockings: Approximately 150 of the following: body lotion, tissues, white socks ó in bulk from one source or bottle by bottle, box by box.
Other items: Costume jewelry, after shave, stick deodorant, oral care products (toothpaste, Efferdent, mouth wash, Poligrip), postage stamps, body sprays and body wash, word search puzzle books, suncatchers for windows,.
Full size gift items: Sweat suits, sweatshirts and sweat pants in all sizes; bedroom slippers (closed back and washable), all sizes and both genders. Donors should keep in mind that all items must be new and unopened.
Volunteers: We are in constant need of volunteers for a variety of tasks. I will be glad to speak with any community group or individual looking for an opportunity to serve in such a capacity.
Contact: Brenda Zimmerman, 704-637-3784.
Meals on Wheels of Rowan
1918 W. Innes St
Salisbury, N.C. 28144
Needs: Volunteers
Call: 704-633-0352
Web site: mealsonwheels
Nazareth Children’s Home
725 Crescent Road
P.O. Box 1438
Rockwell, NC 28138
Needs: Financial contributions; seven- or 12-passenger vans; gift cards from Wal-mart, Old Navy, Marshall’s, Food Lion; more financial donations.
Contact: Josh Regan, 1-888-207-0250, Ext.119, or
Web site:
N.C. Transportation Museum411 S. Salisbury Ave.
Spencer, 28159
Located on the 57-acre site of Spencer Shops, the former repair facility for Southern Railway’s steam locomotives. Preserves and interprets the history of transportation in North Carolina and operates an on-site train ride.
Needs: Volunteers to serve as tour guides, help with special events, help care for automobile collection, or restore and maintain rail equipment and serve as train crew. Training and certification provided for rail operation volunteers ó no experience necessary.
Also, financial contributions and in-kind contributions of craft supplies for children’s programs (paper, scissors, glue, glitter, crayons, etc.), holiday decorations, bottled water for volunteers working events, lumber and carpentry supplies.
Call: 704-636-2889 (ext. 228 for donations or ext. 258 for volunteering)
Project Santa
Denton First Baptist Church
383 W. Salisbury St., Denton, NC
Provides food, clothes and gifts to needy families at Christmas, delivering on Christmas Eve. The program is based at First Baptist Church in Denton.
Needs: Food, clothing, bicycles, money to buy gifts, volunteers to prepare gifts, assemble toys and deliver goods.
Contact: Call Keith Garner at 704-798-4242.
Piedmont Players Theatre213 S. Main St., P.O. Box 762
Salisbury, NC 28145,
PPT is a non-profit theater in its 48th production year presenting five main stage productions and two youth shows each season at the historic Meroney Theater. PPT recently purchased a building on Fisher Street that is being converted into a second theater. This facility, projected to open in 2010, will be used mainly for youth productions, programs and education.
The 12 Needs of PPT
(Feel free to sing aloud):
12 wireless headsets
11 Source Four lights
10 audio speakers
9 wireless mics
8 lobby toilets
7 Dewalt screw guns
6 LED stage lights
5 show producers
4 Green Room couches
3 TV monitors
2 follow spots
And a marquee for the Fisher Street Theater
Any and all of these items are actual needs for Piedmont Players. Please feel free to contact the main office for more details or information.
Contact: 704.633.5471,
Rowan County Department of Social Services
1236 W Innes St
Salisbury, NC 28144
Provides services that include Food and Nutrition Services (formerly food stamps), Medicaid, Work First, Child Day Care subsidy payments, Adult Day Care, Adult Guardianship, In-Home Aide, Adult Protective Services, Adult Long-term Care Placement, Foster Care for Children, Foster Home Licensure, Adoption, Child Protective Services, Child Support Enforcement.
Needs: Financial assistance and donated items for the following:
– For disabled adults and the elderly: food, personal care items. Call Kelly Saunders, 704-216-8345
– For families: food. Contact Pat Spears, 704-216-8407
– For foster children and other children: clothing, toys, school supplies. Call Peggy Thorneburg, 704- 216-8485
Other: contributions to the Christmas Happiness campaign
Rowan Arts Council
PO Box 4234
Salisbury, NC 28145
Provides opportunities that promote arts and culture in Rowan County. We are seeking members, volunteers, and donations.
Wish list: Copier paper, letterhead paper with matching envelopes, an attractive display easel.
Contact: Marietta Smith at 704-638-9887 or e-mail
Rowan Helping Ministries
226 N. Long St.
P.O. Box 4026
Salisbury, NC 28145
Rowan Helping Ministries’ mission is to meet the basic human needs of those in crisis through cooperative community outreach. The agency’s programs are Crisis Assistance Network, Reception Area, Food Pantry, Clothing Center, Soup Kitchen and Overnight Shelter.
Needs: Non-perishable food donations to stock the food pantry. Seasonal clothing for the clothing center. Monetary donations to provide financial assistance vouchers that prevent evictions and utility disconnections.
Also: Small packs of tissues; socks, underwear and T-shirts in all sizes; one-size-fits-all cotton gloves; peanut butter and jelly, canned meat, breakfast foods, macaroni and macaroni and cheese; toilet paper, paper towels.
Contact: Dianne Scott, executive director, 704-637-6838.
Rowan County Literacy Council
P. O. Box 95
Salisbury, NC 28145-0095
Greatest need: Monetary donations to be used for program materials (student books, teacher manuals, etc.).
Contact: Phyllis Martin, 704-216-8266
Web site:
Rowan Partners for EducationRPE is an independent partnership created by the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and the community that advocates for public school excellence.
Wish List:- Items for Educators’ Express, teacher resource store where public school teachers shop for free: dry erase markers, science board materials, construction paper, glue sticks, adult scissors, books for children, copy paper, gallon and quart size storage bags, etc. Complete listing at aspx
– Partners: Volunteer opportunities include:
Assist on our Decrease Dropout Rate committee and our Help Youth Stay in School committee
Work with our Parental Involvement committee.
Join the recruiting and retaining the best teachers’ committee working on ways to ensure we have the best teachers.
Help Educators’ Express greet teachers, promote supply drives, enter data, coordinate volunteers and pick up donations.
– Monetary donations are needed to support our efforts to continue working toward public school excellence. Our staff consists of one employee, but programs like our Education Summit, Parents on Track Workshops, and involvement with the community take funding.
Contact: Executive Director Louise Wooten, 704-642-0700
Web site: www.EducateRowan. org,
Rowan County Rescue SquadP.O. Box 61
Salisbury, NC 28145
Needs: Donations during annual portrait sale in January. Volunteers who are eager to learn rescue and EMS services
Contact: Eddie Cress, director, 704 633 5405
Web site:
Rowan County Youth Services Bureau318-A N. Main St.
P.O. Box 4217, Salisbury, NC 28145
A non-profit agency funded in part by the United Way of Rowan County. Its programs focus on making a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of local at-risk youth between the ages of 7 and 17.
Needs: Caring and responsible adult volunteers who will share their time and skills in one-on-one or group mentoring relationships. Also, financial contributions ó no gift is too small. All donations are tax deductible and will be used for materials and activities that directly benefit youth.
Contact: 704-633-5636
Web site: www.RowanYSB. com.
Rowan Museum, Inc.
202 N. Main St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Formed in 1953 to collect and preserve historical materials connected to the history of Rowan County. Operates three historic properties: the Utzman-Chambers House (1815 on South Jackson St.), the Old Stone House (1766 in Granite Quarry), and the museum in the old 1854 courthouse on Main Street.
Needs: Volunteers to work as docents/guides at historic sites, volunteers for special events such as the Old Christmas Celebration at the Old Stone House, volunteers for the Summer History Day Camp, for special projects, for the annual Antiques Show planning and implementation, and for fundraising.
Also: Volunteers, financial contributions and any items related to the history of Rowan County, its communities and the Piedmont.
Contact: Kaye Brown Hirst, executive director at 704-633-5946.
Rowan Public Library201 W. Fisher St.
P.O. Box 4039
Salisbury, NC 28145
Rowan County’s public library, headquartered in Salisbury, with branches in China Grove and Rockwell.
Needs: Help continue the tradition of excellent collections and services with an endowment to the Rowan Public Library Foundation, which will enrich the Rowan Public Library for generations to come. Your endowment will be recognized on our donor wall and in library materials, and can be designated in honor or memory of a loved one. An endowment, which is $1,000 or more, can also be pledged and paid over a specified time period.
Contact: 704-216-8231.
Rowan-Salisbury SchoolsP.O. Box 2349
Salisbury, NC 28145-2349
Needs: Employers allow time for employees or themselves to mentor or tutor a student; read in the classroom, donate supplies, financial resources, apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing experiences, classroom speaker, in-kind donations, sponsorships of events, expertise in skilled areas (such as HVAC and electrical) and others.
Contact: Rita K. Foil, public information officer,, 704-630-6103.
Rufty-Holmes Senior Center 1120 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Wish list: Contributions for cost of operating center.
Contact: Rick Eldridge, executive director
Web site:
Salisbury-Rowan Symphony SocietyP.O. Box 4264
Salisbury, NC 28145
Annually presents seven performances of the Salisbury Symphony, including two performances of the Nutcracker and the Pops at the Post, one performance of the N.C. Symphony and two performances of the Salisbury Youth Orchestra. Also provides teachers for after-school string program and annual orchestra concert for all fifthgraders and string trio/quartet concert for younger students in all schools.
Needs (in order of priority):
At Catawba: New musicians’ chairs, new orchestra shell, new music stands, pit renovation to original plans (requiring new storage area for Theater Department)
At Livingstone: New musicians’ chairs, stage enlargement or reworking of entire performance space, new music stands
In the community: Orchestra program in all six high schools
Contact: 704-637-431
We are so thankful for the facilities we have, our wonderful musicians, all our volunteers and staff, and our wonderfully supportive audience!
Salvation Army
P.O. Box 625
Salisbury, NC 28145
Provides a wide variety of services to families in need.
Needs: Food and money to provide Christmas meals for 798 families. Angel Tree gifts for 880 more children. (Wish gifts and shoe and clothing sizes are included on Angel Trees at several locations around town, including Wal-mart, the Hurley Family YMCA, Cracker Barrel, Salisbury Mall.)
Also: Volunteers to help with food and gift distribution on Dec. 18 and 19.
Contact: Maj. Robin Starr, Pam Starr, 704-636-6491.
United WayP.O. Box 5065, Salisbury, NC 28144
Raises funds for human services, helps sponsor local agencies (including many listed here), plans for community-based needs.
Needs: Donations of equipment and supplies to Matchmaker program. United Way matches items with agency that needs it. Call United Way to learn where to donate goods. Donations are welcome.
Call: 704-633-1802
VA Volunteer Services
1601 Brenner Ave.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Supplements health care for veterans in the Hefner VA Medical Center with recreational activities and visitation.
Needs: Monetary donations to our Christmas fund to buy gifts for all inpatients. Make check out to VAVS Christmas Fund Account #9102. And donations to our Coffee Fund, Account #9124.
Items: Hand and body lotion, make-up kits, combs/brushes, wheelchair bags, lap robes, shampoo, all occasion cards.
Volunteer: Help with escorting patients.
Waterworks Visual Arts Center123 E. Liberty St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Thursday evenings ’til 7pm; Saturday, 10am-4pm
Admission free; donations appreciated.
The W V A C is dedicated to providing exciting, enriching and diverse opportunities in the arts for adults and children through exhibitions, education, and outreach programs. In addition to rotating, professional exhibits of contemporary art, it also offers studio classes in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and pottery and outreach programs. Need-based scholarships available. We invite you to join us in creative exploration!
Needs: Members, donors, sponsors, and volunteers (clerical tasks, training to be docents, studio assistants); part-time artist instructors for classes and workshops, fall/winter, spring, and summer.
Contact: Anne Scott Clement, 704.636.1882
Web site:
YMCA of Rowan County
215 Guffy St.
Salisbury NC 28147
All branches: Christian organization offering recreation, fitness, after-school care, summer day camp, youth sports and aquatic while being committed to serving God and neighbor. Branches are in South Rowan, 704-857-7011; East Rowan, 704-279-1742; West Rowan (non-facility) and Salisbury, 704-636-0111.
Needs: Invest In Youth Campaign donations:
$50 gives a child the opportunity to experience teamwork in a youth sports program
$100 provides a child with one week of Summer Day Camp
$250 sponsors a YMCA “Splash” learn-to-swim class for four children
$500 provides three teens seeking a safe, fun place to hang out after school an annual membership
$1,000 provides after school care for seven children for one month
$5,000 provides seven families with time and activities enjoyed together through a YMCA membership
Other needs: Strong program volunteers in sports leagues who can be role models for youth, displaying and upholding the Y mission and character traits. The YMCA never turns anyone away for the inability to pay. Please give to our annual Invest in Youth program. Join the Y and enjoy the facilities and programs this county has to offer.
Contact: Laurie Ward, 704-216-9622 or or contact your local branch.
Web site:
Hurley Family YMCASalisbury Branch
828 Jake Alexander Blvd.
Salisbury, NC 28147
Contact: Sandy Flowers, 704-636-0111.
Saleeby-Fisher YMCA
East Rowan Branch
P.O. Box 640
790 Crescent Road
Rockwell, NC 28138
Contact: Linda Bost,, 704-279-1742
J. Fred Corriher Jr. YMCA950 Kimball Road
China Grove, NC 28023
Contact: Alan Lambert, 704-857-7011
– – –
If you would like to include your organization in the Sharing the Season list, e-mail information to