Brunswick County StreetReach
Streetreach/Building Hope Ministries Receives Its First “Big Give”
ORCA’S Charitable Spirit Knows No Boundaries!
It started in October 2017 with the Ocean Ridge Charities Association’s hands-on Make A Difference Day activity, Ocean Ridge Goes M.A.D.D. Chipping in for Charity, and ended 10 months later when ORCA surprised Reverend Donna and Gary Phelps of Building Hope Ministries / Streetreach with a check for $10,000. Reverend Donna’s look of astonishment was a gift to all the ORCA board members who were a part of making this donation possible. “This financial gift was the largest we have ever received at one time, and the incredible support helps us continue in our mission to help the most vulnerable among us.”
The funding for the donation was the result of ORCA’s community-wide endeavor which was selected from nearly 800 projects that took place on October 28, 2017. Make A Difference Day partners Arby’s Foundation and Points of Light honored Ocean Ridge as one of the thirteen National award winners to receive a $10,000 grant from Arby’s Foundation. And the ORCA board members wanted to continue to make a difference in their community, so they passed this windfall on to the Building Hope Ministries / Streetreach’s Vehicle Fund. Rev. Donna shared, “Our current van is 13 years old and without a new one, we couldn’t feed the hungry, transport the homeless, transport the youths to summer camps or visit and share the Gospel with the inmates. ORCA truly has no idea how many people will be touched by this seed you have planted, here on earth and eternally.”
Whether it’s starting a project that helps one person or working on one that benefits a whole community, every contribution makes a difference. The residents of Ocean Ridge Plantation were amongst the many volunteers across the country giving of their time to help make an impact on their community and their efforts for that day were gifts that keeps on giving. Rev. Donna sums it up beautifully, “It is such an honor to know that there are still caring and compassionate people willing to help the less fortunate, and not ask anything in return.”
The Ocean Ridge Charities Association Inc. is a non-profit, tax exempt corporation established within the community of Ocean Ridge Plantation to identify charitable needs within Brunswick County and to support them through increased fundraising and volunteer participation.
I am writing this memo to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the commendable services you provided to many of our neighbors in need before and after Hurricane Matthews.
I am so grateful to all that served with a smile and indeed it was your compassion and service that made a big impact on many lives.
We collected and distributed countless clothing items, cases of waters, diapers, and served meals. None of this would have been possible without your support.
As the saying goes, Service to "the least of these" is service to the God and your services will surely and suitably be rewarded by the Almighty at appropriate time. Thank you for everything you did for the hungry and homeless.
Thanking you once again.
Mission: To unite the community of Inter Faith churches, non-profits, social services, law enforcement, civic groups and the community to improve the lives of the hungry and the homeless in our county. Their reach includes the disabled, veterans, and those with mental illness. Almost half of their clients are female.
Need: Based in Shallotte, Streetreach is focused on reaching the homeless and needy within Brunswick County.
Methods: StreetReach offer outreach programs to give a holistic approach that will help meet spiritual, physical and emotional needs as they offer an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
Results: Using no paid staff, all services are provided by volunteers and donations.
During 2014, StreetReach met the needs of their clients with a variety of goods and services including:
Serving almost 3,000 meals, and distributing over 700 bagged lunches on streets and encampments
Providing showers, clothing, tents, blankets, sleeping bags, food cards, and hygiene products
Sheltering at host sites with an average of 3 – 4 days stay
Providing 35 nights for 29 individuals in motel accommodations
StreetReach is also focused on helping to prevent homelessness. Their efforts include the following:
Rental or utility assistance to help prevent eviction
Purchasing bus tickets to enable clients to travel to be with loved ones
Susan sold construction materials for 25 years. When the company hit hard times, she lost her job. For months she looked for another until her savings, 401k, and unemployment benefits were gone. The day came when the lock on her apartment door was changed, and she was on the street with no place to go.
She made her way to a shelter but quickly decided it was not the place for her. Possessions were being stolen, and she was very uncomfortable sleeping so close to strangers. With a partner she set up “camp” in the woods, initially just blankets on the ground. She was so discouraged and depressed that she just could not see beyond homelessness and spent months on the streets as a result.
But since then, Susan has found housing and now dedicates most of her weekends to helping other homeless individuals. She is especially effective as a liaison with homeless people who find it difficult to accept help.
She knows. She has been there. And now she is back, to help others.
When Eddie was about ten, his father died suddenly. The family had been relatively affluent up to that point. Now, his mother struggled to raise him on her own. One day when Eddie was 13, his mother took him next door to his best friend’s house, told him his best friend was actually his brother, and that his best friends parents were his real parents. She said goodbye, and he never saw her again. He still does not know whether she told him the truth.
Eddie’s new parents were horribly abusive. In response, he became angry and rebellious, and got into plenty of trouble with the law. When volunteers found Eddie, he was living in a tent with disabled girlfriend and was caring for her tenderly. Volunteers were able to help this couple get into subsidized housing, where they are now living comfortably.
Twice a month Eddie and Susan reach out to those on the streets; sharing new socks, hygiene bags and food packages. They have learned to give back!