We are excited to introduce you to Jessica Grote, The Cooperative Ministry’s Director of Financial Sustainability Programs. This University of South Carolina graduate double majored in Finance and Accounting.
“I chose The Cooperative Ministry because I wanted to work for an organization that is improving our community,” Grote says.
In addition to overseeing The Cooperative Ministry’s successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and Financial Sustainability classes, she will manage all client-related aspects of the Autos for Opportunities program.
Executive Director Beth Irick says, “We are thrilled to have Jessica as part of our team. Her knowledge, enthusiasm and heart for helping others will impact our programs and the clients we serve.
Grote’s number one goal?
“My number one goal is to PREPARE people for emergencies- so that when crisis happens they will feel mentally prepared and financially stable enough to handle the situation,” Grote says.
Grote has a passion for helping hard-working people become more self-sufficient. In addition to her day job, Jessica serves on the Board of Advisors as the Treasurer of Hannah House. She also teaches a financial sustainability class at Hanna House.
Jim Hudson’s Automotive Group, Tripp’s Fine Cleaners & WIS TV teamed up in what was more than a heart warming gesture. With the help of the media, the incredible people at Jim Hudson’s and Tripp’s encouraged people to drop of coats to any of their locations.
In a little over two weeks, they netted over 2-thousand coats that we were able to distribute to our clients. In addition to the families that came through our doors in need of a warm jacket, we were also able to provide coats to over two dozen families living at St. Lawrence Place.
“I have seen 257 clients in 16 days.”
Bill Taber has been on the job as The Cooperative Ministry’s Crisis Assistance Manager for a little over a month.
“In that time the gamut has run from home fires, to flood victims, to people who because of a medical crisis are not able to pay bills. ” Taber says, “These are people who are working.”
He admits there are moments when he’s absolutely overwhelmed. Taber says the needs he is seeing are beyond what any one organization can handle.
“Which is the great thing about The Cooperative Ministry, ” Taber says. It’s a group of people, a group of faith- based organizations trying desperately to make a difference in Columbia,” Taber says.
Before coming to The Cooperative Ministry Taber spent 32 years in ministry.
“My prior career has helped me understand people; being able to give them a moment of grace in a time when grace is far from what they are experiencing,” Taber says.
“I think the perception is that the people we serve don’t have jobs and that they are not trying to work,” Taber says. “What we are finding is they really are the working poor. They are trying very hard and with one emergency that comes up, they get tilted over into a crisis situation. “
While the challenge seems enormous at times, Taber is excited about his mission.
“There is an overwhelming need in a population that is greatly underserved.”
garbage bag.” My heart sunk when I realized these poor children had to keep their belongings in trash bags. I vowed to never have another child suffer that indignity again, so I made it my mission to provide every child in foster care with one suit case to call their own.” Smith says.
Instead of trading your used vehicle, or going through the hassle of selling it yourself, consider Autos for Opportunities and forever change the life of someone in need.
Help keep Midlands working poor employed. Your donated vehicle can be someone’s transportation to work. When you donate, you Qualify for a tax write-off and pick up is FREE. To donate a vehicle all you need is your title. Call 803-799-3853 ext 119 for more information.