• 68°

China Grove Mission looks to add Christmas program

Just a few short months after adding its Bridge Builders program, China Grove’s Main Street Mission is preparing to provide a better Christmas for area children.

The mission’s bridge builders program, which is officially called Getting Ahead, provides counseling and education on how to set goals and plan for the future. Main Street Mission outreach advocate Hope Oliphant said the Christmas program would be a different approach on traditional holiday toy drives.

Many holiday toy drives give less fortunate parents toys for free, after reading a book titled “Toxic Charity.” Oliphant said giving away items at Christmas can create difficult situations in homes.

“People will bring Christmas to a family at their front door and the dad will duck out the back because he is embarrassed,” she said. “The mom will go to the door out of obligation and she accepts the gifts, but it’s not anything that she has chosen for her children. It can just make them feel even worse.”

Oliphant said the idea behind the mission’s new program is to provide Christmas with dignity to Rowan County families.

Items would be donated to the Mission. Later, families would come to the mission and shop for “pennies on the dollar,” Oliphant said.

“They purchase items that they could never afford to buy, but at a very low cost,” she said. “They get to say that they actually bought it for their child. The book (“Toxic Charity”) talks about how charity can create dependency and we want to change that to empowerment. Giving should not be about us and how it makes us feel, but about giving dignity to someone.”

Oliphant said the idea for the new program quickly spread to others affiliated with the mission after she shared the book.

Main Street Mission director Anne Corriher said participants who can’t afford to purchase gifts may be able to work in the mission’s store and build up credit.

The Christmas program is also an opportunity for participants in the Bridge Builders program to help provide Christmas for their kids. Corriher said program participants would likely be first on the list to work in the store and, therefore, build up credit.

Main Street Mission’s goal to empower individuals and families is already present in its Bridge Builders program.

Corriher said she’s already seen a noticeable change in the Bridge Builders participants just 7 weeks into the 15-week program. Not only are the participants showing added confidence, but also starting to become a tight-knit group.

Ronald Brown, who participates in Bridge Builders, shared his story of transformation. Corriher and Oliphant jokingly call him the professor of the Bridge Builders group.

“It seemed like, once the class started, we just melded into one, almost like a family,” Brown said.

He recounted a story from the first day of class, where he was asked to write the words “powerless” and “powerful” on a board.

“I grasped that the class was going to be about the power to overcome my problems,” he said. At that point leading up to the class, I had just felt powerless. By going to class, the togetherness and openness, I felt powerful.”

Once significant change since he started the class, Brown said, is a decision to start a daily journal.

“It kind of motivates me each day to do something positive,” he said. “I try to take the initiative to do something, even if it’s small.”

As the Main Street Mission’s Bridge Builders program continues, Corriher said the mission would further iron out plans for its Christmas program and have a community meeting to help decide final details.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.


Comments closed.

China Grove

Reaper’s Realm owners promise beefed-up security after weekend shooting


Contractor expands local footprint, takes on county’s coronavirus projects


Home Improvement: Holiday gifts to spark home improvement ideas


Political Notebook: Local parties will host watch parties for presidential debate


China Grove man cited for driving through school field


October closure hearings set for Faith, Enochville elementary schools


Police say man gave false name after high speed chase, crashing into lumber truck


Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county


Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning


New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses


Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call


Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?


Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak


Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation


Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3


New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day


In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising


From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community


In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help


Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system


School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures


Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice