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Henry nonprofit gives back, needs donations
by Nneka Okona
January 24, 2013 01:37 PM | 1037 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photos by Staff / Katherine Frye <br>
Carla Santiago and her son, Leandro Rivera, 7, separate cans and boxes of donated food Monday morning at the Four Rivers Ministry Pantry.
Photos by Staff / Katherine Frye
Carla Santiago and her son, Leandro Rivera, 7, separate cans and boxes of donated food Monday morning at the Four Rivers Ministry Pantry.
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Although Four Rivers Ministry has technically been around for a decade, many people in the community may know the nonprofit under another name — Feed My People.

The end of 2011 brought on a new name to better reflect the adjusted mission by head honcho Alison Lewys.

And the mission has continued the past 10 years, providing food from the food pantry for those who otherwise would go hungry and providing low-cost, quality, new or gently used items at the thrift store.

But, as with many individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits, the organization has had its fair share of financial struggles, especially in light of the economic downturn during the past few years.

Lewys, despite those troubles, has continued trudging on.

“I am always excited about what we can do,” she said.

Citing the defeat she often faced making ends meet as a single mother as the reason she got involved, Lewys is uncompromising about making life easier for fellow residents.

“I got that from being a single parent,” she said. “When it was Christmas or time to go back to school, I always thought do I get this or do this. Same thing with senior citizens. We don’t want them to have to worry about choosing between buying their medicine, eating or taking care of the house.”

Lewys also plans to tack on a new dimension of the organization — education.

Her hopes are to partner with the FDIC and offer financial literacy courses on fundamental skills such as how to save and budgeting money.

The four rivers — to feed, to clothe, to educate and providing housing — are what comprise the mission of the nonprofit, but according to Lewys, more help is needed to continue their standard of giving back to their community.

“We’re very, very low this year,” she said. “The thrift store is almost empty. It has been hard to get things back in there on a donation basis. We are looking at scaling back [on operating hours] because we didn’t get the [financial] support at the end of last year that we usually get.”

But there is something that residents can do, said Lewys.

“If it is important to you in the community, help us save it,” she said.

Information: (678) 565-7500 or www.4riversministry.org.

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