Emergency assistance center celebrates anniversary

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Chilton County Emergency Assistance Center celebrated its 35th anniversary during its board meeting on Nov. 20 at its location at 502 Enterprise Road in Clanton.

The center was established on Sept. 15, 1983 following a state resolution by former Gov. George Wallace as a United Way Agency to assist people and families in Chilton County that are indigent, in need of disaster relief or other crisis induced needs.

It is a non-profit organization that operates a food pantry and thrift shop, while also providing emergency prescription drugs, medical supplies and dental work as needed.

“What’s given stays in the county for the residents,” Chairman Curtis Smith said. “If it had not been for the center, a lot of people would not have the things that we often take for granted.”

The food pantry and thrift store are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is re-open after lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Families and those traveling through the county can be provided with assistance in the event of a catastrophic circumstance or disaster.

The thrift store sold 4,463 items in October, while 3,813 pounds of food were distributed from the food bank for the month.

According to the social services report for October, 103 families were served food, personal items, household goods, medical assistance, disaster assistance or travelers’ assistance.

The center’s 33rd Annual food drive is currently taking place with Dec. 20 marking the end of the fundraising effort.

This year’s food drive was extended due to the donation efforts in connection with Hurricane Michael.

Several schools are involved in this year’s drive, but individuals and other organizations can also participate by contacting Donny Finlayson at (205) 755-7062 to arrange a donation.

Smith and Marilyn Colson are the remaining charter members of the inaugural board.

Seventeen members make up the board and all are volunteers, but leaders in the community. Terry Collier has been the director of the center for the past 13 years.

Smith thanked Collier and all of the board members and chairmen that have given their service over the years.

He also gave recognition to the Clanton City Council and Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver, who is a board member, for the continued support.

The anniversary celebration included cake from Bertolone’s and some punch to go with it.