Co-op needs donations year round

GRAYSON - After a land swap forced a local cooperative ministry to look for a new home, the nonprofit has relocated and is preparing to serve the southeast part of Gwinnett for the holidays.

"It's a long and drawn out story, but to make a long story short, we had to relocate due to a land swap arranged by the city (of Snellville)," said Beth Moffat, executive director of the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry. "We now occupy two double-wide trailers and we opened the first of October."

Those trailers are located at the Community Grace Lutheran Church at 1200 Athens Highway in Grayson where the co-op issues clothes and food to needy Gwinnett residents of Snellville, Loganville and Grayson.

Though it took some readjusting, the nonprofit is up and running and ready to help more than 100 families this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Moffat said a number of local sponsors have committed to helping the co-op this year, many planning to provide toys and food to the families.

"Some churches put out a tree with names and others assign families," Moffat said of the sponsorship process. She said most of the food and toy deliveries are done by the sponsors themselves.

"That's the way they usually want to do it," Moffat said. "They want to see the smiles on that child's face."

Church Pastor Matt Henning said though the holidays bring a heightened need for donations, food, clothing and monetary gifts are needed all the time.

"People are hungry year round. June, July and August are the most difficult months," Henning said. "When you lose your job they don't say we're going to fire you on Thanksgiving. They're stocking up now during the holidays and we'll try to save for the months ahead."

Moffat said some typical household staples are needed most.

"Sugar, personal hygiene items, peanut butter and jelly, laundry and dishwasher detergent are what we tend to run out of the quickest," Moffat said.

Henning said the co-op is always looking for people in the community to get involved.

"We're always looking for volunteers," Henning said. "There are a lot of opportunities to help and serve. Local businesses can collect cans and raise money."

The co-op is open for donations and to provide assistance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Fridays and 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays. The co-op can be reached by calling 770-985-5229.

SideBar: At a glance

What: Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry

Where: 1200 Athens Highway in Grayson

When: Donations are accepted year round from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Fridays and 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays