MINT HILL, NC – COVID-19 continued to create an unprecedented amount of need in our community in 2021, and Servant’s Heart once again rose to the challenge.
In 2021, Servant’s Heart’s assistance programs served a total of 6207 people with $318,465. It’s an impressive number that includes $58,477 in food programs, $185,391 in household needs, $12,958 in clothing/furniture/housewares and $61,538 in children’s programs.
“In 2020, Servant’s Heart Assistance Programs was deemed an essential business with our food pantry and as the only distributor of Loaves & Fishes for the Mint Hill area,” says Founder and Executive Director Kim Rhodarmer. “Like many businesses, we had to forge new strategies to help those who were desperately struggling in our community.”
These new strategies included curbside service for clients. “Servant’s Heart never closed its doors but instead responded by establishing the Curbside Pantry Pick-up service,” says Social Worker Rochelle Williams. “In an effort to help slow the spread of the virus, while at the same time, meeting the needs of our clients, this contactless approach of serving our community became a vital resource to many families.”
Servant’s Heart couldn’t accomplish this work without the help of the Mint Hill community. Approximately 30 volunteers helped facilitate various assistance programs throughout the year, and numerous partnerships with local individuals, churches and businesses supported all Servant’s Heart’s programs through donations.
Servant’s Heart also couldn’t accomplish their mission without the Community Boutique. Perhaps most visible to the community, the Boutique is a self-funding feature of Servant’s Heart that provided 47% of its revenue during its first five years in the community.
Like Servant’s Heart as a whole, the Community Boutique has had to adjust to a new normal during the pandemic, working with significantly less volunteers (currently about 35) than pre-pandemic. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, many volunteers have taken on additional responsibilities,” says Community Boutique Manager Billie McIntosh. “Servant’s Heart truly could not serve our community without the selfless passion and energy that these volunteers bring daily.”
Donating to and shopping at the Community Boutique remains a great way for everyone in the community to support the work Servant’s Heart is doing in the community. With designer handbags, noteworthy brands of clothing – some new with tags! – and jewelry for any occasion, it’s a place you’re sure to find a great value.
“The community continues to bring donations that amaze boutique managers and wow our customers,” says Rhodarmer. “Our goal is to provide a beautiful and thoughtfully organized shopping experience for customers and clients. Support Servant’s by donating items appropriate to sell in our store and leave with a new treasure. Be a donor and a customer! The Boutique’s greatest donation needs are home décor, small furniture, kitchen items, and linens.”
It’s community support that fuels the long-term success of Servant’s Heart, which celebrated five years in the community in September of 2021. In just five years, Servant’s Heart has surpassed $1M in assistance, serving 26,811 people with $1,146,643. That truly impressive figure includes $539,400 in household needs, which includes the NonFood pantry and Bill Pay Assistance; $76,478 in clothing, furniture, and housewares, which includes beds and client shopping in the Boutique; $259,147 in food programs, including the Emergency Food Pantry, Turkey Tuesday and Loaves & Fishes; and $271,618 in children’s programs, which includes Back2School, Christmas Assistance, Baby Baskets, and Christmas Party.
Doubtlessly, those are impressive numbers, but what do they mean? Tricia’s story shows the impact Servant’s Heart’s work has on real people right here in our community. A single mom to three children, Tricia worked as a housecleaner prior to the pandemic. When work became scarce as COVID took hold, Tricia started to fall behind on her bills. Unemployment benefits and stimulus aid helped her catch up, but without a full income, Tricia continued to fall behind.
Tricia came to Servant’s Heart. After an extensive review of required documents, Servant’s Heart paid the past due amount owed on her rent and utilities. Tricia’s family received nonfood pantry essentials, food, and holiday assistance. Ultimately, Servant’s Heart’s assistance allowed Tricia to pursue her dream of launching her own cleaning business. Today, as the proud owner of her own cleaning company, Tricia has increased her monthly earnings by 75%, and she hopes to expand her business in the future.
There’s no doubt about it: Servant’s Heart is making good things happen in our community. For more information about Servant’s Heart’s assistance programs, community boutique and needs, visit https://servantsheart.org/.