Gail LaSalle, director of Churches Assisting People in Conway, and the volunteers there are hoping that a yard sale on Saturday will bring in a large amount of money to assist people in crisis.
In July, Churches Assisting People (CAP) moved from Main Street to the former Conway Firehouse at 307 Wright Boulevard. The yard sale will be held inside and outside the building — rain or shine — from 7 a.m. to noon.
CAP provides emergency assistance food — three meals per day for three days — for each person it assists, and it assists people in a large area west of the Intracoastal Waterway that includes Conway, parts of Aynor, Loris and other locations. CAP also provides assistance with utility bills, housing, transportation and more. On Monday, as the temperature dropped, LaSalle said she had been busy all day trying to pay electrical bills and buy propane gas so that people would have heat.
In 2015, CAP, a volunteer-driven United Way agency started by the Conway Ministerial Association in 1987, provided 275,000 meals to people in crisis.
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LaSalle said many of their clients are senior citizens. Some are sick or have been injured. But at least half are seasonal workers, the employees who are the “engine” that runs the tourist industry at the beaches, but are laid off around October. She said only a few businesses pay unemployment for seasonal workers. “I don’t understand their thinking.” LaSalle said.
Linda Strogen, a CAP volunteer whose husband Gray Strogen serves on the board, said they always know that CAP’s needs list will explode in October.
Gray Strogen heads a group of men who go every day to several Food Lion stores and the Conway Bi-Lo to pick up donated food. If it wasn’t for the grocery stores donating, CAP’s clients would probably only get canned food, Linda Strogen said.
About 32 churches are on the CAP roster, and about 15 donate regularly. “The others give when they can,” LaSalle said. “The churches help a lot, but we can’t do it with just the churches.”
A group of Quakers meet at the CAP building on Sundays.
They pay to use the building and are among the numerous CAP volunteers. “They’re just a lovely group and they’ve always been very supportive,” LaSalle said.
Grace Giford, a member of that group, is heading the yard sale.
“Grace has done a wonderful job organizing the yard sale,” LaSalle said. “It should be very lucrative.”
Giford said a generous benefactor was the impetus for the yard sale, where there will be antiques, furniture, various items from around the world, toys, clothing and much more.
Linda Strogen, who is also helping with the yard sale, said they would appreciate any donations of items to sell, and items can be dropped off between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday.
While CAP always needs donations, raising money is very important at this “low-employment” time. Donating items or shopping that day can help CAP do something to make life a little better for families or individuals in our communities who are in crisis.
For more information, to donate or volunteer, visit www.capconway.org, call CAP at 488-2277, Giford at 365-6654 or Linda Strogen at 817-874-3592.
Peggy Mishoe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 365-3885.