Living Columns & Blogs

FaithCentre in Bellefonte hosts many programs, including upcoming winter coat drive

FaithCentre is home to a variety of social service programs. We house the food bank for the greater Bellefonte area and the Pet Food Pantry of Centre County. We offer an emergency financial aid program, host a coffee corner where free snacks and meals are served, provide volunteer opportunities for individuals needing community service hours and routinely partner with other helping agencies to address the complicated social and financial problems of families facing distress.

Two-thirds of the funding for these myriad endeavors comes from sales at the Thrift Store and the remainder is raised through individual and corporate donations, grant seeking and fundraising events. While many people are familiar with our store and shop there for great bargains, the Thrift Store is, in itself, a ministry. Every Tuesday and Friday, those in need of clothing for themselves or their children can take advantage of our voucher program. Hundreds of families benefit from this project every year and take home clothes necessary to be comfortable in the heat or cold.

In August, we offer an annual back to school clothing giveaway. This year, more than 200 children were each given three free outfits and a pair of shoes. Coming up from Oct. 20-27, area residents are welcome to visit our store and select a free warm, winter coat.

In addition to serving the local community, however, the FaithCentre’s Thrift Store has a national and international reach. We send clothing to areas ravaged by hurricanes and provide personal care items, blankets and socks to homeless outreach groups. We routinely give clothes and other goods to people transitioning from jail to a sober living facility or rehabilitation center and save towels for animal rescue groups. Church mission teams collect items ranging from suitcases to shoes that are then distributed throughout the world. What we don’t sell or give away is gathered each week by the Salvation Army for use in their stores or outreach programs. Items donated to the FaithCentre, therefore, are not only kept out of the landfill but may be rehomed in our own town or could find their way overseas.

FaithCentre has been blessed with an abundance of material goods and we welcome sharing this bounty with other helping agencies, animal welfare groups, and church ministries. For more information, please call 355-0880. We look forward to working with you!

Nicole Summers is the executive director of FaithCentre.