A Lesson in Giving “In the Can” for some Midlands Elementary Students

“Ever since the school was built ten years ago, Round Top Elementary students have given back to the community,” Media Specialist Cindy Symonds says with pride.”   This year, the school collected around 40 boxes of canned and boxed food items as part of the schools annual Carolina/Clemson Food Drive.  They chose The Cooperative Ministry as the beneficiary of their hard work.

Not only did the students put their hearts into collecting the food, as you can see from the pictures, members of the student council put their muscles into it too as they worked to load The Cooperative Ministry Van.  Nobody likes their team spirit better than The Cooperative Ministry’s Logan Munson, a member of the USC National Championship Baseball Team.



We are humbled by the generosity exhibited through this gracious act. Thank you Round Top Elementary! Because of your efforts the holiday’s will be happier for a number of midlands families who are #FIGHTINGPOVERTY.




Save The Date! Party With A Purpose- December 8th 11-3pm.

The momentum at The Cooperative Ministry right now is like a freight train traveling down Mt. Everest.

TCM is like the Polar Express, but unlike the Tom Hanks character in the movie, there are many conductors driving this train.  We are blessed to have so many people who are willing to give their time, their money and their resources to help The Cooperative Ministry with its mission of #FIGHTINGPOVERTY.

It’s a great problem to have, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the train.

Like in this case.

When the folks at Vista Restaurant Gervais & Vine talked about hosting a holiday party to benefit The Cooperative Ministry we said put more coal on the fire! We are ready!

That’s how Party With A Purpose was born.




Please join us Saturday, December 8th at Gervais & Vine from 11-3pm.

Taste delicious wine.

Tantalizing Tapas

Top off your Christmas Shopping with some wonderful hand-crafted jewelry from Silpada , or some great Unity Cards from The Cooperative Ministry.

Take a break and treat yourself.

We hope to see you soon!



WLTX Answers A Tweet For Help!

What a week!

A handful of beds and couches are starting to roll into The Cooperative Ministry Warehouse thanks to a call to action from local television Station WLTX.  Click here to see the report.

The excitement started when WLTX meteorologist/reporter Daniel Bonds called The Cooperative Ministry and said he wanted to do a story about the Ministry’s dire need for beds.  Bonds said he felt compelled to call after TV producers told him about a tweet on social media site Twitter that said 70 Midlands families were on a waiting list for beds.

“It was like an answer to my prayers, “Clothing and Furniture Warehouse director Yolanda Green said about Bonds request to do the story. Green says the empty space in the warehouse where beds are supposed to be makes her feel like a failure.  “It’s difficult sleeping at night on my bed when I know there are others out there sleeping on the floor,” Green told Bonds during the interview.


While the interview was underway, a family arrived to pick up one of The Cooperative Ministry’s last beds. Green says often times a number of children in one family will sleep on one bed. “They are thankful for something that most of us take for granted. The opportunity to get a good comfortable nights sleep.”


We are thankful for WLTX’s support in helping spread the word. We still have a long way to go.  Please send beds or a monetary donations to The Cooperative Ministry and help in our mission of #FIGHTINGPOVERTY in the Midlands .


Cooperative Ministry Unity Cards. A Great Gift.. That Gives Back..

He’s known around town as “The Chicken Man,” but local artist Ernest Lee doesn’t shy away from opportunities to help hard working people who find themselves one crisis away from being destitute.


Lee is one of two local artists who have donated their time and talents to The Cooperative Ministry. The work of Lee and Mary Lane Sloan is being featured on The Cooperative Ministry Unity Cards displayed below.


Packs of 8 cards, featuring 4 cards from each artist are available now for a  $20 dollar donation.

Money raised will help those who need crisis assistance.  Crisis Assistance  helps supply individuals who are trying to work themselves out of poverty with services like rent and utility assistance. Crisis Assistance is the bedrock The Cooperative Ministry was founded on, but there is a crack in the foundation.  Without an immediate influx of funding, many people will fall down that crack. The Cooperative Ministry is met by more needs than we can currently serve.

You can help change that.

To order you cards, shoot us a message on The Cooperative Ministry Facebook Page  ,or call Kara at 803-422-6081.

We are also looking for people who would be willing to display the Unity Cards at their place of business.





Help Kids In Shelters Through Circle of Giving



By the sounds of laughter and squeaky high pitched voices in the background, you’d think I was calling a place where kids jump on big, bouncy inflatables or play video games while they wait on greasy, cheese pizza to devour.

Amazingly, the bubbly sounds I could hear over the phone were the voices of children who are currently living in a number of local shelters.

Take a second right now and recall some of your favorite childhood memories during the holidays. Now picture spending those early years growing up in a shelter, especially during the winter months when the days are short, darkness comes early and the cold can be bitter.

I’m calling Midlands shelters to see how many children currently living there will be taking part in this year’s Cooperative Ministry Circle of Giving program. The answer to that question is startling. Palmetto Place tells me they are operating at maximum capacity, a woman tells me it has been for months.  The same is true at Family Shelter .

Now, I’m on fire. We need to help these kids.  To be honest, while I have heard of Circle of Giving, I didn’t know what this incredible Cooperative Ministry event actually does. Circle of Giving runs with the strong love and support of Eastminster Presbyterian Church. The Eastminster Congregation has taken the lead role for over a decade now.

Here’s how it works:

Volunteers drive church buses to 8 area shelters to pick up the children. The kids are taken to Thompson Hall on the church campus for a party. There, they do arts and crafts, have some yummy treats, dance with Rudolph and pick out and wrap some donated gifts to give their immediate family members. The goal is for them to forget about the struggles of their day to day life for a few minutes and just be kids.

In recent years, Eastminster members have donated unwrapped gifts, wrapping paper and bows, other supplies and monetary donations for the event.  Volunteers including a number of young people help staff the party. They serve as “guides” to the shelter children as they shop.

If you ask people who’ve taken part, they will tell you that Circle of Giving is a life- changing experience. Let’s make this year’s event the best one yet. Please consider giving gifts, wrapping paper, or monetary donations so we can shop for these children who are growing up in some very difficult circumstances.

Through the laughter I heard over the phone, I was reminded of the resilience and innocence of children.  I was also reminded of how blessed my family is.


Here’s an outline of items we could use…


Suggested Gift Ideas for Different Age Groups (although some ideas are suitable for multiple groups)
Remember: gifts should be in the $10 range, unwrapped and non-perishable.
**if gifts need batteries please include them **
Baby dolls, cars, trucks, balls, stuffed animals and talking toys
Race cars, Hot Wheels, simple board games, art & crafts, puzzles
“Polly pocket”, cars, trucks, board games, footballs, basketballs.
Nerf Frisbees and other items, footballs, basket balls, jackets
Funky pocketbooks, tote bags, fun glove and hat sets
Make up kits, nail polish kits, bath gel/bubble bath kits, purses, necklaces, earrings
Footballs, basketballs, collegiate items (Clemson or Carolina), sports watches, radios with batteries
Watches, aftershave and toiletry kits (deodorant, spray, body wash), wallets/billfolds, baseball caps
Make up kits, nail polish (manicure/pedicure) kits, bath gel/lotion kits, perfume, purses, necklaces, earrings and jewelry sets, watches

Items that are discouraged:
Toy weapons; clothing, shoes etc. because the children don’t know sizes; slippers & work gloves because the children do not select them as gifts ;breakable items (vases, mirrors, bowels); items that are too small/ insignificant to be a gift on their own (happy meal toys etc.)



(803) 799-3853

3821 West Beltline Boulevard

Columbia, SC 29204

Cooperative Ministry