Archived Story

Son Light Center seeks community support

Published 7:49pm Thursday, September 27, 2012

Food banks are beneficial outlets for people in need of assistance—but only when the banks are not in need themselves.

The Son Light Center, a food bank, thrift store and shelter in Jemison, is having trouble keeping a full supply of canned food items, monetary donations and volunteers.

Holly Preston, who manages the thrift store, said the center needs funding and volunteer workers more than anything else.

“We have no paid staff members,” Preston said. “Everybody there is a volunteer. We need all the help we can get.”

Preston said all proceeds from the thrift store go toward food, which volunteers and church groups help pass out each week.

“We serve 80-150 elderly and needy families on Saturday here in Jemison,” Preston said and added that the bank supplies food to hundreds more.

The center is down to just one food supplier, necessitating its urgency for more individual donations.

Another problem the center is facing is the amount of space for women and children at the shelter.

The shelter can hold 15 people, but men and women must be in separate quarters. If even one man is staying at the shelter at any time, women and children are not permitted.

“We turn away six women and children a week,” Preston said. “My goal is to get out there and get some money so that we can buy a place to house these women and children as well.”

Betty Sue Oldroyd founded the Son Light Center after she saw first-hand how many families needed help getting food.

Oldroyd still oversees the center and contributes to it as much as possible.

“She put her money into helping these people,” Preston said. “I’ve never seen anybody sacrifice as much in her life as her, and I think that’s what inspired me the most.”

The Son Light Center is located at 151 Bibb Street in Jemison.

To volunteer or donate, call (205) 688-1155 or stop by the center.

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