On September 1, A Servant’s Heart of Mint Hill turned three years old!
The community assistance program and resale boutique celebrated on September 21 with a free cookout for customers compliments of Beloved Community Church. In only an hour and a half, the church served meals to almost 100 customers.
Of course, the boutique is only one very small piece of what Servant’s Heart does. In fact, the resale shop exists only to fund Servant’s Heart’s assistance programs. Staffed by two employees and 92 weekly volunteers, the boutique has raised $572,000 to date to assist individuals and families in the Mint Hill community as they move toward financial stability. In the past three years, Servant’s Heart’s various assistance programs have served over 9,200 people in our community and distributed over $300,000 in assistance.
To continue to improve their service to the community, Servant’s Heart recently hired full-time social worker Jasmine Sinclair-Jones. Although Founder and Executive Director Kim Rhodarmer herself is degreed in social work, she already wears multiple hats for Servant’s Heart, acting as executive director, development manager and financial manager. “As our numbers increased in terms of people coming in needing assistance, I desperately needed someone to do that full time instead of me trying to juggle all of those responsibilities,” says Rhodarmer. Sinclair-Jones is Servant’s Heart’s fourth paid employee.
In its third year, Servant’s Heart continues to make good things happen for our community through both year-round and seasonal assistance programs. Recently, Servant’s Heart’s Student School Supply Program gave 234 fully stocked bookbags as well as classroom and administrative supplies totaling almost $19,000 to nine Mint Hill schools.
Oftentimes when businesses or organizations say they distribute book bags, they mean a book bag with some miscellaneous supplies. Servant’s Heart’s three-armed program, by contrast, is much more comprehensive. The first arm of the program is serving clients’ children from pre-k all the way through college who are in need of supplies. “We prepare these book bags exactly the same way we as parents prepare our own children’s book bags,” says Rhodarmer, who obtains supply lists from the children’s schools and stocks the backpacks with every last item on the list.
In May of each year, Rhodarmer also meets with counselors from Mint Hill’s pre-k through 8th grade schools to get an estimate of how many children at each grade level are expected to show up empty handed at the start of school. Servant’s Heart provides fully stocked backpacks to meet the needs of these students as well. Lastly, Servant’s Heart also collects and distributes classroom and administrative supplies – like Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, and kleenex – to Mint Hill area schools. Mint Hill’s Chamber of Commerce assisted with their supply drive this fall.
Servant’s Heart is currently offering two new assistance programs to further help members of our community to reach financial stability. Bill Pay Assistance provides financial assistance for clients with past due balances or disconnection notices with Duke Energy and Union Power Cooperative.
“For many of us, when we think about not having power at home, it means it’s going to be dark in my house, I won’t be able to watch television or be on my computer,” says Rhodarmer. “For most people, it’s simply an inconvenience. For my clients, it means they’re going to lose all the food in their fridge.” The Bill Pay Assistance program began in July and has already served over 40 families.
Servant’s Heart’s Financial Literacy Program, slated to begin in November, will offer free, one-on-one budgeting services using principles from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Through the program, clients will have the opportunity to meet with an individual trained and skilled in budgeting, furthering Servant’s Heart’s ultimate goal of supporting its clients as they move toward financial stability.
“Servant’s Heart provides a platform with meticulously developed programs where community comes together to help each other,” says Rhodarmer. “And the Mint Hill community shows up in a beautiful and generous way!”