A Long Tradition of Serving People in Need
Over 50 years ago, Fuquay area residents needing shelter, coal, gasoline, medicine or transportation visited area churches with their financial requests. Small church discretionary funds limited the amount of financial help that was granted and church staff spent time trying to find other financial resources for these needy residents.
In 1964, the Fuquay-Varina Ministerial Alliance formed the Family Aid Council of Fuquay-Varina. Its mission was defined in this way, “The Family Aid Council is a cooperative project of Christian assistance to human need, combining the professional services of a battery of helping agencies with personal Christian love in action. It is FOR CHRIST’S PEOPLE THROUGH HIS CHURCHES.”
The aim of the Council was to assist residents with immediate emergency needs and to advise those in need of agencies that could help on a more extended basis.
Guidelines were established and an application drawn up to be filled out by those seeking assistance. Reverend James B. Reaves, pastor of Fuquay-Varina Presbyterian Church, served as the first ministerial advisor and acting administrator. The church took an active role in Family Aid Council’s emergency program. The church maintained a clothing closet in its basement for years as part of the program and the clothing closet eventually moved to an empty store space beneath the Pope’s store.
Those who applied for Family Aid were helped by a sponsor from the applicant’s church. If the applicant had no church, a sponsor from a local church was selected to help the client. Eventually, volunteer lay people took over the application process for financial assistance. This freed the Ministerial Association to devote more time in counsel with these families, to find donors and to promote and publicize the needs and efforts of the Council.
In the early meetings, the Ministerial Association determined that an annual community Thanksgiving service would be held and its offerings given to the Family Aid Council. As the community grew, Family Aid struggled until the early 2000s. However, along with increasing population, needs in the community also continued to grow. Concerned citizens and ministers decided a more professional organization was needed to help area families.
For over fifty years, Fuquay area churches and concerned citizens have always found a way to help many citizens in need.
Historical research and portions of the above text were written by local resident and reporter Shirley Hayes. Many portions appeared in an article in the Fuquay-Varina Independent on November 18, 2009. Portions of exact text and permission to rephrase the content of the article were granted by Mrs. Hayes and the Independent.