We had a fun night at the meeting tonight! First, we finally got the vision screening device that we ordered a few months ago with the help of a grant from North Carolina Lions, Inc. We also got a thank you card from the Apex Skate Park for being a Bronze level sponsor and Lion Horace read that and told us a bit about the opening day celebration he attended. And then we got a chance to surprise Jan Carlton, volunteer at Western Wake Crisis Ministry with a check for $1000 to support their efforts!
Jan Carlton is a volunteer at the Western Wake Crisis Center and has been for 10 years now. Two months prior to volunteering there for the very first time, she moved to Apex. She heard about the Western Wake Crisis Center through her church, immediately got involved and has never looked back. This evening she was filling in for the directory, Becky, who was unable to attend. Western Wake Crisis Center provides food, financial assistance, training and encouragement for those in need. They do everything they can to help people who have hit hard times get back on their feet again. They even provide meals at the holidays as well.
The organization only has a couple of paid employees – all the rest are volunteers. In fact, it took quite a long time for Jan to meet anyone there who was paid, she said. They depend heavily on volunteer help and donations from businesses and individuals. Fortunately, they have been blessed recently with a benefactor who is providing them with a new facility which will be near the corner of Olive Chapel Road and Kelly Road.
The ministry has grown from simply providing food (which is very important, still) to expanding in several other unexpected directions serving various needs. For example, several of the local grocery stores provide them with vegetables, produce and other food that is nearing expiration. One time a conversation was overheard about someone who was not sure what to do with parsnips and out of that came a nutrition and food preparation class. Jan also shared a story of a client who recently died in a fire. The Fire Marshall said that if there had been a smoke detector in the house, she might have lived. Once that word got out, the volunteers went into action, got a grant, and then bought and installed about 200 smoke detectors!
They are going to be starting a new session of Jobs For Life soon. This is a program where they match a “champion” with a “student” (client) to help the student learn and practice everything they need to know to help them get a job. The program is biblically based on parables but non-denominational. The champion will attend each session 2 nights a week for 8 weeks with the student and encourage them through the process of learning. This program is near and dear to Jan personally because her background is in training and education. It’s a resource intensive program, but can be very rewarding. If you are interested in volunteering to be a champion, contact the Western Wake Crisis Ministry directly.
The Apex Lions Club loves to serve the less fortunate in Apex as well. So we were very pleased to present Jan with a check for $1,000 to support the Western Wake Crisis Ministry efforts! This money came from small “fines” collected from our members throughout the last year and collected by our club “Tail Twister”. We are so grateful for the Western Wake Crisis Ministry and all that they do to help people in Apex and we are proud to support their efforts as well!