Fashion Fighting Poverty Featured Item

Fashion Fighting Poverty is underway.  You can bid now on a host of brand new, gently used and unique one-of-a-kind items donated by celebrities and dignitaries on-line at or on your smartphone . The on-line auction culminates in a one-day celebrity boutique, benefiting Cooperative Ministry programs Saturday May 4th from 11am-2pm in front of The Columbia Museum of Art.

It’s your chance to dress like a celeb for less!

One of the featured items is a Rowallan of Scotland Jewelry Box (pictured below) which was donated by Dr. Harris Sims and Commander Jonathan Sims, USN.

In addition to being related to Cooperative Ministry Crisis Assistance Director Sonja Harris, Dr. Sims is a psycho-therapist and professor who has been honored nationally on numerous occasions for her outstanding volunteer efforts in both the civilian and military community.  She received the President of the United States, Call to Service Award for excellence in volunteerism, and in 2011 she was selected as a top 5 finalist for Military Spouse of the Year.  Last year, she was one of 30 military spouses hand selected from across the country to be surprised and honored by Oprah Winfrey on her Favorite Things Holiday Extravaganza.  The jewelry box is one of the items Dr. Sims received from Oprah. You can get a sneak peak right now on www.biddingforgood/

Sims says, “I am in awe of the multiple community needs currently addressed by the Cooperative Ministry Family. Two of the populations I volunteer with often are youth aging out of foster care and wounded warriors.  Sadly, homelessness is one of the factors these two groups have in common.  When I heard about the Fashion Fighting Poverty event, I knew I wanted to be involved and decided to donate the gorgeous jewelry box given to me by Oprah.  There is nothing more important than giving back, whether it is a minute, an hour, a day or a donation each of us can serve as a catalyst to spark a new direction in a person’s life.”
It is with that spirit of giving back that we hope people from around our community and across the country will bid and purchase some of the items that have been generously donated for the purpose of raising money for The Cooperative Ministry’s mission of fighting poverty. For more information on who has donated so far check the events page on our website at Be sure to join the Fashion Fighting Poverty event on The Cooperative Ministry’s Facebook Page at


Oprah says, “This leather-covered jewlery holder with 12 drawers,smart locks and a lift-out takeaway box for travel is worthy of holding the crown jewels.”


Fighting Poverty With Music

The Mobros from Camden are no Justin Bieber. (Insert wisecrack here.)
Nothing against the ultra-popular, cutesy crooner, it’s just that while the Mobros youthful appearance may draw comparisons to the pop prince, that’s where the similarities between these musicians end.
If you listen to the Mobros music before laying eyes on them, you’d think this South Carolina rock duo, has been around the block a couple of times, both lyrically and in tone.
In an era where many young people with huge potential to be the next big thing succumb to societal pressures and get intertwined in a narcissistic caccoon, the Mobros are more concerned with giving back to others

Everything about the Mobros screams maturity well beyond their years. Just look at the way they are approaching making their latest album. Patrick Morris (19) and his brother Kelly (22)  are raising money on line through something called pledge music . It really is a unique idea.  When people donate to help fund the Mobros album on Pledge Music, 10% of their donation goes to The Cooperative Ministry.  These guys are up front with the audience who views, their website saying “We are asking you to pledge and help us pay for the Mixing, Mastering, and Duplication of this album, so we can get it in your ears, but we are also asking you to help fight against poverty in our home state. Thanks!”

Why The Cooperative Ministry?

It all started with a bond the brothers made with Cooperative Ministry CEO David Kunz. Patrick says, the band met Kunz after a concert they performed a few years back and have become close friends. “The way that The Cooperative Ministry works is inspiring. They enable the less fortunate to support themselves through the Solid Ground program and that is an empowering thing to see,” Patrick says.

Unlike the Mobros themselves, Patrick says that one thing he likes about The Cooperative Ministry is that “what you see is what you get and that is something that resonates with us. By doing this we are able to give back to the community and bring awareness to this great charity through the support of our fans.”

The band is also working on a benefit concert for The Cooperative Ministry. When we get the details, we’ll let you know.

Stay Tuned!


Engines Revved. A New Director Behind the Wheel of C.A.R.

Michael doesn’t whistle while he works. That’s not his style.

If you see him in the middle of a landscaping job with his earphones on, know that Michael is grooving to gospel on volume 10. He says gospel music inspires him.    

It must be working because if you ask anyone who has seen Michael in action, they’ll tell you Michael has an unbridled passion for what he does.

“There are plenty of landscapers and able body people willing to do yard work but Michael is different. Michael is an artist,” a friend from church told us. Michael’s friend brought him to The Cooperative Ministry to pick up the vehicle he qualified to receive from the C.A.R. program.

Until the truck, Micheal relied on people to give him a ride to work, but if a job was too far away and he couldn’t catch a lift or ride a bus, Michael was forced to miss an opportunity to make money.

Michael doesn’t want to miss a job. He’s saving money so he can move into his own place. Right now, he’s staying in Transitions shelter.  While he feels blessed to be there, Michael wants to make it on his own and this truck may give him the push he needs to jump start his life.

Rob and Irene Tyson donated the 1994 Ford truck that Michael received to The Cooperative Ministry’s C.A.R. program  in January. They told us that they wanted to help transform lives. They had  no idea who might receive the truck, they just felt it that dropping the truck off with C.A.R. was the right thing.

The truck is the second vehicle the Tysons have donated to The Cooperative Ministry.

Angelyn Larman is the C.A.R. Program Director.  Larman will be the first to tell you that she loves her job.  She says it’s a win-win. Not only does she get to meet the giving people who donate their vehicles to help others, but if you ask her, Larman will tell you, “The most rewarding part of this labor of love, is seeing the faces of my C.A.R Program clients when I hand over the keys to their vehicle. The experience is absolutely priceless!”

C.A.R. Director Angelyn Larman hands over the keys of a pickup to Micheal.

When Rob Tyson dropped off his family pickup  in January, he told us, “The truck sometimes shakes and rattles, but it always rolls.”

Tyson can rest easy knowing  that his old truck  has new life; rolling down Midlands highways, the man sitting behind the wheel rocking out to gospel tunes, as he drives to a new job.

Micheal says the truck will give him the freedom to pursue his passion. He’s hoping to move out of the shelter and into an apartment next month.  Larman is rooting for him.  This is the third vehicle she’s been able to turn over to a deserving client in the last six weeks.







A Cooperative Venture to Fight Poverty

You may NOT want to ask a Cooperative Ministry employee to name their favorite hip hop song, lest you get riddled with an abundance of lyrics from a famous Sugarhill Gang song, sung off key.
Hip Hop is best left to the professionals, which is why we’re excited to be part of this new event!
Columbia’s Hip Hop Family Day is rooted in bringing awareness to the important areas that affect our community:  poverty, domestic violence, education, youth, arts, employment and economic development. But it also features a lot of great musicians who will knock your socks off.
A portion of the proceeds collected from the event will be donated to the people we serve.
“The hip hop culture began and is still rooted in communities that are riddled with poverty and a lack of economic and employment opportunities, says Hip Hop Day organizer Sherard Duvall.  “By partnering with a non-profit organization, like The Cooperative Ministry, whose work is rooted in those causes, we are able to directly affect the very communities that have supported hip hop culture for so long.”
Cooperative Ministry CEO David Kunz says the partnership is a blessings.  “The synergy here is through the roof.  Organizers of Peace, Love and Hip Hop are touching on a number of  The Cooperative Ministry’s core values. We’re excited to play a role.”
Duvall expects Columbia Hip Hop Family Day to quickly become one of the most diverse events the City of Columbia has ever hosted.  Duvall  believes “the event will  join people of all races, classes and ages with a one-of-a-kind experience that has the potential to become a staple of South Carolina business and tourism.  We could not be more proud to have The Cooperative Ministry’s’ support in our efforts.”
Join us Saturday April 13th from 11-5pm on the 1700 block of Main Street/ 1200 Laurel Street in Columbia for Peace, Love and Hip Hop.
Here’s a number to call for more information 803-546-2319



(803) 799-3853

3821 West Beltline Boulevard

Columbia, SC 29204

Cooperative Ministry