Being a central location for all of Warren County, Central Church of Christ members have made it their mission to help those in need, with their benevolence helping hundreds each year.
Along with opening their benevolence building each Thursday morning to give the needy people of Warren County clothes and other staples of life, Central also holds its Food and Raiment Day each November just before Thanksgiving. This year was no exception as hundreds flocked to the church for a good meal and clothes.
“They were lined up around the corner when we opened the doors this morning,” said Joe Braxton, one of the driving forces behind the church’s benevolence mission. “I’m sure the economy has its affects on people.”
Braxton estimated a little over 200 people took advantage of the clothing giveaway this past Saturday during Food and Raiment Day.
“A major part of the clothes we give away are donated by the church, but we also get help from members of the community who don’t attend church here,” Braxton said, noting the benevolence center works year round to make sure clothes are available to those in need. “This time of year it’s things like coats and warm clothes.”
Betty Glenn, who helps organize the thousands of pieces of clothes which come through the Benevolence Center, says it is a mountain of work to organize, separate and hang the items which take up several rooms of the large outreach center which used to be commonly known as the Badger Arcade. Some, including Braxton, also know the building as the place they used to skate when it housed a downtown skating rink.
“It’s quite a job really but we really enjoy doing it,” Glenn said, noting they try to keep seasonal clothes out for those coming for clothes while storing away clothes that are out of season. “Right now we have our winter seasonals here.”
In addition to clothing those in need, Central works to give them a good meal.
“We prepared 1,140 sandwiches,” said Becky Willmore of the church’s mobilization to feed the community lunch this past Saturday.
Willmore estimated about 300 came for the soup and sandwiches and numerous take home meal boxes were sent with the visitors.
“Folks are very appreciative,” Willmore said.