By Portia Williams
Christ’s Community Church (CCC) makes a concerted effort each year to look beyond the needs of members of their own congregation, to reach out and helped hundreds of single parents throughout the community. CCC will host the 12th annual Single Parents Fair on Saturday, Aug. 1.
Pre-registered participants will be accommodate from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Walk-ins will be welcomed at 10:30 a.m.
Lead Pastor at CCC Rick Clark said they have 200 single parents already registered for this years Single Parent Fair, and 2015 marks the 12th annual fair of this kind.
“What we will do is open the doors at 9’ o’clock, and once they are opened, they are opened from 9 until 10:30 for the 200 that called in. Then at 10:30 the doors will be open for anyone,” he said. “If they haven’t called and registered, or if they call now and are told that we are already at our max, then they can simply come at 10:30, and they will have access to everything that’s here, but everything that’s here is always first come, first served. Last year, and the year before, we still had ample supplies for folks coming through the door at 10:30, so that wasn’t a problem.”
Participants will be greeted by a group of men who will perform oil changes on the parents’ vehicles.
“When the single parents drive onto the parking lot this year they will be greeted by a team of 40 men who will be changing the oil in their vehicles. They will be changing the oil while the single parents and children will be coming into the building to go through all of the things that are being offered.
There will be an opportunity to for a free hair cut at the fair, as well as clothing and school supplies for the kids.
“When they come in the building they will be able to receive free hair cuts. We have eight hair cutting stations that will be set up, and usually during the course of the three hours they will do about 120 hair cuts during those three hours,” he said. We have an enormous amount of clothes that have been donated, and depending upon the amount that, depends on how many outfits we allow each family to take per person. We have 500 back packs filled with school supplies that we will be giving out.”
The health component of the fair will include physicals to be performed by local physicians.
“Dr. Tracy Murray will also have his office opened up. I know that just had their Free Day of Dentistry just last week,” he said. “This weekend on Saturday, they will open their facility up and they take 28 appointments beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and those are all filled.”
Mark and Virgie Hunter will be present and will provide the single parent families with groceries.
“Then, as people are leaving, out on the parking lot we have the Steven Hunter Hope Fund, and Mark and Virgie Hunter are bringing in a grocery truck, and so there will be quite a few groceries that will be available to send people off with,” he said. “There will be shopping carts that they can push around and grab their groceries, and then we help them get it to the car, and load it in the car.”
We will have crafts for the kids. If you are here, and maybe getting a hair cut, your children could be in the crafts section and they will be working on little projects there. So, we have a lot going on here,” he said. It is a wonderful opportunity.
The annual Single Parents Fair at CCC is not based upon income.
“As far as single parents are concerned, whenever there is a give away like this, we tend to equate it with income-based, need-based families, but that is not the case here,” he said. “We didn’t start this for the sake of necessarily income-based issues. We started this because we recognized that simply being a single parent is a difficult, difficult task. And so, whether you had the means, or didn’t have the means, we wanted to just take a day and just come along side and offer a little reprieve, and just love on and bless single moms and single dads who have kids. So it is not an income-based program.”
CCC hosts the fair to let the community know that they care, and that their church is there for them.
“We just want to invest in our community, and help the community so this comes right out of our budget,” he said. “We want to use our resources to bless our community. I have this sign in my office, and it says, “If your church vanished, would your community care? And that is one of the things that drives us. We want to be a church that is deeply invested in the community, and the community knows not just that we are here, but that we love our community, we love where we are planted. This is one of those projects that we use to show people that we care.”
Reach Portia Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.