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Several months ago, members of St. James the Fisherman Episcopal Church in Shallotte began looking at ways to use an available room for outreach to the local community. Forming a committee to examine various methods, their work culminated in the establishment of a multi-faceted Neighbor To Neighbor Program.
On a cold and blustery Dec. 7, they cut the ribbon to open the doors of this parish program that conducts three Community Outreach projects: Coat Closet, Orthopedic Equipment Lending Closet and a Benefit Bank.
The program partners with Brunswick Family Assistance, which identifies people needing coats or the loan of orthopedic equipment. These people are then referred to the church’s Neighbors To Neighbors Program with a voucher, which is then honored based on the availability of the items needed. People can bring their voucher to the 4941 Main St. side of the church from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday or Saturday.
A Benefit Bank program has also been established. This program assists low and moderate-income individuals and families by completing and filing their taxes at no charge and helps connect them to other public benefits for which they may be eligible. The Benefit Bank works on appointments, which can be set up by calling a pager number (754-0302) and leaving a callback number.
The parish is excited to be expanding its community outreach beyond its already established Second Helpings, Food Pantry Support, CIS After School Tutoring and other seasonal programs. They hope the Neighbor To Neighbor Program will provide another avenue of service to God’s people in need throughout Brunswick County.