When facing a storm, be it personal or literal, it doesn’t have to be weathered alone. In tightknit communities, there is always someone willing to help. Sneads Ferry is home to a crisis ministry who bring aid to those is trouble, helping to strengthen the hope and bond among neighbors. This non-profit organization, the Master’s Touch, is the collaborative effort of nine of churches in Onslow and Pender Counties. Started in May of 2013, they have been in the community “meeting the needs of those in crisis in the name of Jesus Christ.”
The Master’s Touch operates a thrift store, food pantry, and emergency aid. They offer Christian guidance or, in some cases, have even covered medical costs for those seeking help. The three parts of the organization work together to be of most assistance. The thrift store sells used goods cheaply so that they are available to lower income households. In instances of domestic abuse or fire, these goods are often given away. The money generated from the thrift store covers expenses and can be used towards aid. The food pantry and thrift store stock are available to address immediate needs in emergencies.
The Master’s Touch thrift store is run by volunteers, congregants and people inspired by the group’s mission and eager themselves to help. Master’s Touch store manager Shirley Prince explains, “Our pay is just the fact that we’re helping people.”
After Hurricane Florence
After Hurricane Florence in September 2018, more than 138,000 people registered for disaster insurance. In Jacksonville NC, 25.28” of rain fell in 3 days. The 10-ft storm surge and subsequent flooding left many areas stranded as roads fell apart. The crisis ministry, who met the needs of others often before, experienced a crisis of their own.
The beating from Hurricane Florence destroyed one of Master’s Touch’s two storage units. Many of the goods within had to be thrown away. Although the store is still accepting donations (Wednesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm), they are limited in what they can take. Unfortunately, there is just nowhere to keep it. That doesn’t stop store manager Shirley Prince from counting her blessings.
Prince says, “With the hurricane we’ve been able to push forward and help more people.”
It is a familiar sight for Shirley Prince to open the store only to find boxes collected around the entrance, donations dropped off after closing. A sign has been put up asking people to not do this. Prince doesn’t let anything that sounds like a complaint stand for long before pointing out the silver lining.
“Every morning there are boxes dropped off after hours,” Prince says, “But we’re blessed to have it. Without the donations we wouldn’t have the money to help the community.”
To Prince, even the destruction of the shed might be a blessing in disguise. The plan is to put in two more units. One of these will be used as new workspace. Right now, the only place to sort boxes and price items it on a tarp outside the shop. A third unit will provide a space to manage the stock and protects volunteers and wares alike from the elements.
Keep up to date with The Master’s Touch on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/masterstouchofsneadsferry/