PALMETTO — Checks for $530 arrived this week to help Palmetto’s Mount Carmel Resource Center, which faced closure by the end of the year due to financial difficulties.
Volunteers at the center for the needy were celebrating Friday after contributors provided money to keep the center operating, following a story Wednesday in the Bradenton Herald.
“I’m all excited,” said Joyce Dukes, assistant director at the center, which has been supported for years by the congregation at Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, across the street.
However, the church is struggling to keep the center open, because many church members have lost their jobs and more people than ever need help due to the poor economy, volunteers said.
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One local woman arrived with a check in hand, saying, “‘We weren’t aware you were in need,’” Dukes said Friday.
The donor promised to try to bring items to distribute this winter, including blankets for the homeless, Dukes said.
The money will pay for supplies, such as coffee and paper plates, that the center needs to serve meals to the hungry, Dukes said.
“It’s a big difference,” she said.
Others planned to contribute as well, they told the Herald in telephone calls.
The center can be reached at (941) 981-5354, and is at 1314 Second Ave. W., Palmetto 34221.
The number of clients seeking a GED class to earn the equivalent of a high school diploma is at the highest level since the center’s inception, according to director Shirley Pearson.
The center also serves food from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each weekday; does tutoring for students taking the FCAT; offers classes in English for Spanish-speakers; is launching a new computer class; and hosts a mobile unit from Jobs, Etc. that arrives on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, Dukes said earlier this week.
It also supplies food bags, and helps people apply for food stamps and unemployment insurance, she said.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 745 7031.