Crisis Closet helps family in need

Published 5:59 pm Friday, March 7, 2014

Crises are a common occurrence in the lives of everyday people, but one church organization is looking to provide a little relief for families in such times.

Antioch East Baptist Church’s W.I.T.S. (Whatever It Takes Sisters) Crisis Closet program was created strictly with that goal in mind, and the organization has provided aid for more than a dozen families in the year since its inception.

The latest crisis involved the total loss of Debbie Knight and Louie Mathieu’s home in a fire, which originated from a faulty deep freezer in the couple’s closet.

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Melissa Campbell, Knight’s daughter, said that on the very same day that tragedy struck, a friend contacted Antioch East Baptist Church and told them about her mother’s experience.

That very same day, Campbell’s mother and stepfather received aid courtesy of the Crisis Closet program.

“They were able to pick out some things that they would need immediately, like pajamas, bed sheets and things that you really don’t think of and take for granted once you lose it all at one time,” Campbell said.

“But that was huge because we did it the day of, and were able to not have to go and replace those things immediately.

“And they were so warm, inviting and nice, and it’s just a great thing to have in our county that people can look toward in a situation like this because we just never would’ve expected to have to deal with that.”

For all the help that the Crisis Closet has provided to families within the county, it was very nearly a project that didn’t make it off the ground until its members received some aid of their own.

“We were going to give it up because we just didn’t have a good location,” said co-founder Jeanette Thompson.

“But we had an anonymous person give us this area, so that we could do this and he would take care of everything.

“The Lord just intended for us to do this.  People began to give us stuff, we began to stock it and now people know we’re here.  They give us clothes, dishes, bed things and furniture—we’ve just been really blessed.  It’s nothing that we’ve done, but the Lord has just seen to it that we got what we needed to operate.”

Campbell added that after being a recipient of the community’s charity, she’s looking to pay it forward by donating materials of her own for the next family in need.

“It was definitely a sigh of relief for us to see people want to help us like that on that day, and it gives you a different appreciation for it when you’re really in need,” Campbell said.

“That’s what we want people to get from this, is to just know that they’re there to help people.  You don’t have to be affiliated with the church.  Donate things there so that when there are things taken, there’s more to replace it.”

Those interested in donating to the Crisis Closet are asked to contact Antioch Baptist Church at (334) 382-6828.