‘There are people in our community that are hurting right now, and there is something you can do’ Local church collecting gift cards for Allen Benedict Court residents

‘There are people in our community that are hurting right now, and there is something you can do’

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Days after a gas leak at the Allen Benedict Court Apartments prompted residents to evacuate, one local church with a long-standing ministry helping the residents of Allen Benedict Court came up with an idea to help give back to families in need.

The Riverside Community Church is collecting gift cards for families displaced.

Erica Kimrey, a Riverside Community Church member came up with the idea.

“The idea was born because I asked a family that I know there very well, what do you need? And her response was I don’t have clothes to go to work Tuesday,” Kimrey said.

Kimrey tells WIS The Riverside Community Church has had a ministry to the children at Allen Benedict Court for close to ten years.

“We’ve developed relationships with the families, and a lot of those relationships are mentoring relationships where some mentors of the church will mentor some of the kids at ABC,” James Walden, Lead Pastor at Riverside Community Church said. “Even though ABC may be condemned, we don’t know what the future is at ABC, but the families are still there, we want to stay connected with those families.”

Kimberlyn Hicks, a Riverside Community Church member who was once homeless, used to live at Allen Benedict Court Apartments.

“Living in public housing is a challenge by itself just living in public housing, and to go through this I can’t even imagine how some of the families must feel,” Hicks said. “When you don't know and you don't have the answers, the only place you can turn to is God and the community.”

Hicks tells WIS the gift cards will go a long way.

“There are people in our community that are hurting right now, and there is something you can do,” Kimrey said. “You can go give you can turn in a gift card and it will be given to someone who needs it.”

Kimrey hopes to spread out the donations to help more families, which is why she is asking for donations to be in small increments, from 20 to 50 dollars.

If you’d like to donate you can drop off gift cards at:

Bluestein Attorneys

1614 Taylor St, 29201

Or

Indah Coffee

2238 Sumter St, 29201

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