“Benevolence” is moving to meet a need without any expectation of return. Because we believe Christ lives in, with, and through us, we endeavor to extend, offer, and demonstrate His love by helping to meet tangible needs in our community.
Our benevolence ministry consists of: Common Goods (food, clothing, and household), service oriented teams who participate in local endeavors such as Meals on Wheels, First Hands Blessing (providing home cooked meals for families in transition from hospital to home) and financial assistance where possible.
A Free Thrift Store for Families in Need
Common Goods houses our clothing, food, and household items ministry. If you are in need of such assistance (except for food), you are welcome to come during our open hours:
- Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays | 11am to 2pm
- 1st and 4th Monday evenings of the month | 5pm to 8pm
- 2nd and 3rd Wednesday evenings of the month | 5pm to 8pm
- 4th Saturday of the month | 9am to 12pm
You will need a photo identification and will be asked to fill out an application which we will place on file so you won’t have to fill one out every time you come. Our staff of volunteers works very hard to provide a relaxed shopping experience for all. Generally, you are able to select free of charge up to 30 items of clothing per season for each member of your household. You are welcome to come to Common Goods once a month.
Due to the number of shoppers, we do reserve the right to limit the number of certain types of items in the store. For instance, each family member is only allowed one coat per season. There are times when we must limit items in short supply, and we do ask that you only take clothing that will fit members of your own household. We also ask that our teen clothing be taken only for teens. Your cheerful cooperation will allow many families the opportunity to be blessed with what they need.
How to Receive Assistance
When applying to Common Goods for the first time, you will need to bring with you a birth certificate, medical card, or report card for any minor children in your household. If you are not the parent, you will need to show custody papers. These will be noted on your application and you should not need to bring them again. You will need your photo identification each time you shop. Here are a few ways that we are able to offer assistance.
If you are in need of food assistance, you may come to our Common Goods facility on the 3rd Friday of the month from 9-11 am. You will need your photo ID and will be asked to fill out a TEFAP eligibility form.
If you or a family member are transitioning from hospital to home and could benefit from some home cooked meals brought in for your family, call and leave your contact information with the receptionist at 330-456-2600. Please provide the name of the person hospitalized, dates of hospitalization, phone number and address. Our ministry leader, Gail Steckley, will call you to follow up.
Because of the generous donations of our members, we have a benevolence fund which is used to help families in crisis with rent and utilities. We do not receive any grant money as the public agencies do, so we are limited to what is received through these offerings. Though we would love to be able to help everyone who comes with a legitimate need, we sometimes have to make tough decisions as to who recieves this help and who doesn’t. You do not have to be a member of First Christian Church to receive help, but members will get first consideration. Everyone seeking assistance must fill out an application for financial assistance which is available at the front receptionist desk. Fill it out completely and leave it, along with any supporting paperwork, (such as a bill, disconnect notice, eviction notice) with the receptionist. The receptionist will make sure the application and paperwork get to Yvonne Schneiders, our Director of Benevolence. Yvonne, will then call you to follow up. This may take a few days, so please be patient. Yvonne is a part time employee, and is not in the office every day.
Donating Items to Common Goods
Donations can be made during open hours (see above) or put in secured plastic bag and placed in brown shed on north side of the building. Thank you for your generosity.
7100 Market Ave. N.
Canton, Ohio 44721
- Bradley Clark, Benevolence Pastor
- Carol Gerzina, Ministry Leader
- Ralph and Marcia Wolfe, Ministry Leaders
- Gail Steckley, Ministry Leader