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Chris Young

Sylacauga’s Care House; taking care of its community during the giving season


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Care House in Sylacauga is known for its generosity.

The Care House helps provide food and clothing for those in the community who are in need throughout the year.

Three part time workers man the Care House located on Hwy. 21, and various church’s volunteer one week out of the year. There are also a few volunteers who come full-time. For someone to be eligible to receive clothing and food, they must go through a registration process. There is an application to fill out, based primarily on family size and income. The Care House does a thorough job of checking applicants to ensure their needs are realistic. An accepted family is allowed to come to the Care House once every four months for food, and once every month for clothing and household items.

Earl Lewis is the Director of the Care House. He took the job in 1997 after he retired from the school system as a temporary position that was supposed to last six months to a year. He has been there as the Director ever since.

This year alone, 1,341 people (640 families) received food from the Care House, 514 families received help with clothes and household items, and 112 new families visited the Care House.

In addition to providing food and clothes throughout the year to different families, once a year the Care House does something special for families in town. Families can apply to receive Christmas baskets, and receive a card if they are accepted. Registration for Christmas baskets ends tomorrow. Registration takes place from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., and you must bring a photo ID, address proof, income proof, food stamps proof, and birthday for yourself and everyone in your household. The Care House gives out 400 Christmas baskets each year on average.

The Care House will begin receiving food donations from sponsoring churches, organizations, and individuals for the Christmas baskets Tuesday, Nov. 13. The baskets will be packed on Dec. 10 and distributed on Dec. 11. Various churches and organizations have food assignments for the Christmas Basket donations. If you would like to donate please call the Care House at (256) 249-8289.

The community has been so supportive this year, the Care House is no longer accepting clothing donations until the beginning of next year because there is very little storage space for clothes. It will  begin taking clothing and household items again Jan. 14.

“We are so appreciative of all the help we get,” said Lewis. “We could not operate without local people, churches, and groups supporting us. It’s part of the Lord’s work, and that’s how we want it to be. It’s not a personal gain for any of us who work there, it’s a mission.”

The 4th annual Care House Benefit Christmas Concert will be held after the Christmas Parade this year on Dec. 6 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission for the Christmas concert is either a $5 donation or two non-perishable food items. The Camaratas, including Bruce and Tracy Carr, David and Catie Simpkins, Steve Lewis, and accompanist Robin Lewis will perform at First Presbyterian Church for the benefit concert. Because the Christmas parade is before the concert this year, refreshments will be held before the concert at 7:00 p.m.

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