Up & Coming Weekly

April 21, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 15 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM APRIL 22-28, 2020 UCW 15 EARL VAUGHAN JR., Senior Staff Writer. COMMENTS? EarlUCWS- ports@gmail.com. 910-364-6638. The SonRise evangelistic outreach min- istry based in Hope Mills has had a simple philosophy since it went into operation six years ago. Scotty Sweatt, one of the founders of SonRise, said the purpose of the organization is to meet people where they are and show them who Jesus Christ is. Since the advent of the COVID-19 pan- demic, SonRise has added another role to its outreach purpose, one that's more hands-on than just sharing the message of the Gospel. They recently instituted a program called Adopt-A-Granny. In a nutshell, it's aimed primarily at senior citizens who are wary of getting out and shopping for themselves because of risk to exposure to infection by the COVID-19 virus. To help that group, SonRise will go and do the gro- cery shopping for at-risk people who would prefer to remain home bound then deliver the purchases to their door in a safe manner, observing proper social distancing restrictions. While the SonRise operation is based in Hope Mills, it has no physical location by design. The headquarters for SonRise is a converted school bus that includes a chapel and a kitchen inside. On the outside, the bus is decorated with the words "The Church has Left the Building" on front and back. Membership of SonRise includes people who rep- resent a variety of denominations. Sweatt was a youth minister for nine years at a small country church. The concern for the elderly started weeks ago when Sweatt began to realize some of his elderly neighbors didn't have family available to check on them. His wife also began checking on people in need. That led Sweatt to get the entire SonRise team involved. Currently, the SonRise team tries to reach out to any- one in the general Cumberland County area, but they are limited by whether or not someone involved in the ministry actually lives where people who reach out to them are located. Sweatt said he recently got a call from a woman in Spring Lake. They weren't able to send someone directly to help with shopping, but Sweatt said the woman was actually just glad to talk to someone who would listen to her and offer words of comfort. While SonRise isn't actively seeking donations, Sweatt said anyone who would like to contribute to the ministry to help with the Adopt-A-Granny outreach is welcome to do so. In order to arrange a delivery, the number to call is 910-960-7786. The process is fairly simple, Sweatt said. The caller provides SonRise with a list of the items that they would like to have purchased. SonRise then sends someone to buy the needed food and deliver it to the home. The food is wiped down with disinfectant and the person who delivers it wears a mask and drops it off outdoors, stand- ing a safe distance away to confirm delivery was made and to speak briefly with the person who the food was delivered to. While the emphasis of Adopt-A-Granny is on senior citizens, Sweatt said the SonRise team is happy to talk with anyone regardless of age who is homebound or at risk and would rather not venture out during the pandemic. "We are not going to rule out anybody,'' Sweatt said. "We'll give them a smiling face if nothing else.'' SonRise ministry offers Adopt-A-Granny for shut-ins by EARL VAUGHAN JR. NEWS Restaurants aren't the only food-related enter- prises who've had to change the way they operate because of COVID-19. The ALMS HOUSE ministry in Hope Mills has had to alter how it helps the underprivileged in the area and is in need of extra support during this dif- ficult time. Delores Schiebe, executive director of the ALMS HOUSE, said people are still coming in to get food, but new restrictions have been put in place to safe- guard both the staff and the clients. The only part of the ALMS HOUSE that is com- pletely shut down is the organization's clothes closet. Another major change involves access to the ALMS HOUSE's popular food pantry. Clients can no longer just show up to browse the shelves. The food pantry is only open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., and all those planning to visit must call ahead for an appointment. They will need to bring their Social Security card and proof of residence, preferably a current utility bill that includes their physical address. The ALMS HOUSE can still only be accessed by people who live in the general area of Hope Mills. Schiebe said that basically covers what she described as a big circle around the town, except for a few odd twists and turns. Generally, it includes the area as far out as Raeford Road and almost all the way to the Robeson County line. People who aren't sure if they live in Hope Mills area can call Schiebe at the same number to make appointments to visit the food pantry, 910-425-0902, to confirm if they meet the residency requirements. From noon until 12:30 p.m. and from 5 until 5:30 p.m., the ALMS HOUSE is still serving meals to anyone in need, but they are now strictly takeout. Schiebe said the ALMS HOUSE has been helped greatly by local businesses that have donated meals for them to distribute. Among them are Fayetteville Realtors, The Diner by Chef Glenn, Sammio's on Raeford Road, Superior Bakery, Marci's Cakes and Bakes, Robin's on Main and Big T's. Grandson's Buffet also donated meals until the restaurant had to shut down because of the additional restrictions imposed by the governor's executive order, but Schiebe said she hopes they will be able to resume in the near future. One critical part of the ALMS HOUSE out- reach, the Kids Assistance Program, is in danger of having to shut down due to a lack of items. The KAP was designed to provide school-age children with a source of food they could pre- pare on their own in their homes to make sure they had something to eat over the weekend. Even though school is currently closed, Schiebe said school social workers are still coming to the ALMS HOUSE and picking up prepared bags of food to deliver to children in the areas where their schools are located. But Schiebe said supplies of the kind of food used in the bags have been wiped out at local gro- cery stores. She especially mentioned things like ramen noodle soup and Chef Boyardee products in microwaveable containers. ALMS HOUSE will accept those donations dur- ing regular hours, she said, with no need to make an appointment to drop them off. "We are eager to get it,'' she said, "especially our need for items for the kids program.'' ALMS HOUSE in need to KAP donations by EARL VAUGHAN JR. While the SonRise operation is based in Hope Mills, it has no physical location by design. On the outside, the bus is decorated with the words "The Church has Left the Building." ALMS House has changed its operations because of COVID-19.

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