Spread the love

By Charlotte Smith

June 5, 2003, was a Thursday and the “birthday” of the Bladen Crisis Assistance, Inc. The local 501 (c) 3 organization “was born in the hearts of pastors of Bladen County.” Over the years, numerous community members have assisted in the success of the charity’s mission. 

Their slogan is “Joining Hands To Strengthen Our Community.” The group’s vision is to assist Bladen County residents and transients needing help without them going from church to church or agency to agency. Since its inception, the nonprofit has provided a “Food Pantry, Financial Assistance, Long Term Disaster Recovery, a Thrift Store, and Spiritual Encouragement.”

The Food Pantry opened its doors for the first time 20 years ago. Volunteers gave bags of groceries to senior citizens, the unemployed, and residents referred by the Department of Social Services. Tenecia Johnson has managed the pantry for years and continues distributing food on Thursdays from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm.

According to Rev. Jonathan Hayes, President of Bladen Crisis Assistance, Inc., Bladen Crisis Thrift Store is the anchor of the nonprofit’s support. The store opened in August 2003, offering “affordable clothing, toys, furniture, and household items.” 

The Thrift Store Manager, Ruth Hall, said, “We are very proud! I was there when they opened the first store, a little tiny building.” 

She continued, “We have grown a lot, not as much as we would have liked to, but the Pandemic messed us up.”

According to Hall, only some people know where the store is located. They want the public to know they accept donations and volunteers and the store is open for shopping.

Rev. Hayes stated, “We rely heavily on donations to the Thrift Store and the funds raised there. The store’s donations allow us to continue our work.” Donations such as clothing, toys, furniture, and household items are accepted at the store, 109/111 Martin Luther King Drive in Elizabethtown, NC. The store hours are Tuesday through Friday, from 10 am until 3:30 pm, and from 9 am until 2 pm on Saturdays. 

Hall reminds the public, “All the proceeds go to the Food Pantry or families in crisis.” 

For more information about the Thrift Store, stop by the Martin Luther King Drive location across the street from the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market in Elizabethtown, or call 910-879-1033. The store also has a Facebook page.

According to the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council, a strong volunteer base is needed to minimize overhead costs. “It takes tenderness of compassionate hearts and the strength of many hands, but together, we can make a difference in our community.”

For information about the Food Pantry, social work, or spiritual encouragement, call 910-879-1032 or stop by the Food Pantry location at 208 S. Morehead Street in Elizabethtown. 



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