INDIAN TRAIL — Common Heart, an organization that helps the community by feeding residents and directing others to vital services, was founded in 2006 with one mission in mind: helping families in need.
And when the organization holds its annual festival June 30, it will celebrate the expansion of the organization’s thrift store as well as raising awareness and providing resources to those in need.
Common Heart was started by a group of friends who just felt there was something lacking for families in need in Union County. And in just six years, the organization has opened the Common Cupboard, a food bank for hungry families, and the Common Things Thrift Store, which helps the organization raise money year-round for its services.
The outpouring from the community has been so great that Common Heart is already having to expand its thrift store at 116 Business Park Drive in Indian Trail, into both suites A and B.
The festival Saturday, June 30, at Common Things Thrift Store is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is a great opportunity for the community to bring nonperishable food items to donate to Common Cupboard. For each pound of groceries donated, guests will receive one ticket, which can be used for food and drinks.
Every month, Common Heart volunteers deliver food to more than 280 families in and around Union County. But they don’t just deliver the food and leave. They spend time with the families and develop lasting friendships.
“Both the volunteers and the recipients benefit from this personal interaction,” said Common Heart’s Executive Director Keith Adams.
And while the thrift store is open to all shoppers, Adams said, “It’s a great way to connect with the community, new volunteers, caring people who want to help a neighbor and with families that are struggling.”
In addition to the thrift store and food pantry, Common Heart has started a new program called Common Heart CONNECTS, which connects families in need with resources and organizations in the community.
“We are in the initial stages of developing and testing this service and hope to formally launch it later in the year,” Adams said. “We are a member of Benefit Bank and are currently providing benefits counseling that will connect families with benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare and Pell grants. We also are running a free tax service during tax season and a food pantry focused on government commodities in Stallings. We are looking for a partner to start one up in Waxhaw.”
Through all of its programs, Common Heart managed to help around 11,000 people last year.
The annual celebration June 30 will feature live music from local bands including Mt. Zion Gospel Quartet, Ecclesias and Crossroads; animals from Carolina Waterfowl Rescue; a water slide and a sidewalk sale at Common Things Thrift Store. There will be face painting, a hayride and fun games for children as well. A nonprofit showcase will feature organizations such as Restoration House, Waxhaw. Entry is free; meals and snacks are available for wither tickets or cash.
For more information on the organization and how you can help, visit www.The CommonPlace.org.