Monday, December 26, 2011

Why a second pantry?

I hope you had a blessed Christmas, and as the new year arrives, may 2012 be an amazing year for you!.

Earlier this month I emailed about our Holiday Hero Campaign. (Click here to read more.) One of the four new things in the new year that prompted the email is the opening of our second pantry.  I want to share just a little more about it.
First, I still don't know what we are going to call this new pantry.  It is something new for us and needs a new name.  Common Cupboard is a pantry for you and me to draw from to serve others.  This new pantry will be a place where people come to us. They will receive government commodities, produce and baked goods along with a heart to listen, love and care. A place we invite people to come experience God's love in practical ways.
Why a second pantry? Well,to make a long story, short. An opportunity to expand our reach into the community came in May.  We were offered to be a host site for TEFAP, the US government commodity distribution program. We were excited to do it, but found out that Common Cupboard focus on delivering groceries was inconsistent with how this program worked. 
This glitch created a gap in the distribution model that Second Harvest had envisioned. The western half of Union County was without a distribution site. We began to look for partners to create a new distribution point.
Through a God ordained, chance meeting, my wife met Leah Parker, Program Director, from June Bugs Child Development Center in Stallings. Over the next couple months this new friendship made way for the opening of this new pantry at June Bugs.
What does this new pantry do for us?  In short it expands our ability to serve in your neighborhood and mine.  It will bring people struggling with unemployment and difficult times to us.  In the Indian Trail area, the reality is that needs are hidden and sometimes difficult to find.  In Monroe, when we started the cupboard, we just went door to door in low income neighborhoods to find people in need to serve.  Here in western Union County, your neighbor may be unemployed and struggling, and you may not know it until the house has been foreclosed.  This new pantry will help bring people out of hiding and help us reach out to them.
In combination with the new benefits and the tax assistance services, you and I will be able to make a major contribution to "bridging the gap" for these families, and open more hearts through demonstrating God's love.
This is one of the four new initiatives as we turn the calendar page.  I will be sharing more about each of these during the next couple weeks. They are the reason that we are looking for 100 Holiday Heroes at the end of the year. You can read more about the four new initiatives and Holiday Heroes at  

Just 6 more days till the calendar page turns. Will you be one of our Holiday Heroes?  Thanks for your prayers, gifts and service.
With one Common Heart, 
Keith Adams
Executive Director

----------  End Post:  Why a second pantry ------

Three Friends Raising Money for Common Heart. Join them?

There are three friends raising money for Common Heart between Christmas & New Years eve.  You can help too by giving to one of their campaigns or by starting your own and asking your friends to help.  There are some exciting new opportunities to be of service and "bridge the gap" in the upcoming year.  Can you help?

Here are links to each of their pages ...

Doug Shipley
Craig& Christine Calcaterra
Keith Adams

If you would like to create your own fundraising page, here is a link for you.
Just write from you heart and send out to friends asking them to support Common Heart.  For details of the campaign go to Holiday Hero

--------- End Post: Three Friends ----------

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Will you be a
Holiday Hero for Common Heart!

As we finish out 2011 and look toward 2012 there are so many exciting new avenues Common Heart will be initiating in January. You will be hearing more about each of these, but let me briefly explain what is coming up in the first few months of 2012.

1. We will be opening a new pantry. Yes, the time has come to open up a second location to serve the hungry in our community. This new pantry will be in Stallings and will be a facility offering US government commodities, fresh produce and baked goods to families in western Union County.

2. Beginning late in January we will be opening a "Virtual VITA Tax Preparation Site". We will be doing taxes for low and middle income families for free this tax season. This will enable us to expand our outreach in the community and get to know and demonstrate God's love to more people.

3. In the first quarter of the year we will add a service called Benefits Bank and open a new division of Common Heart with the working name of "The Bridge: Common Heart Network". Through The Bridge we will begin to connect more people with resources available in through the US government, private foundations, community organizations and local churches.

4. As soon as possible we will need to add our first paid staff position to facilitate all activities to "bridge the gap" between our faith and action, and the resources and the needs of families in our community.

We need some "Holiday Heroes" to be praying, volunteering, and giving so that these new endeavors will expand our small revolution of kindness through out our community.

As a way to say thank you for your gift of $30 or more we will be offering you a free membership in the Hometown Hero Card program ( This card will provide you a year's worth of discounts at over 90 local businesses (and growing every day).  One of those businesses is Common Things Thrift Store.

Please be a "Holiday Hero" and donate before the end of the year. There are a couple ways to give.  You can go donate at If you would like to make a donation each month automatically,  just select the monthly option. You can also send us a check to Common Heart, PO Box 2761, Indian Trail, NC 28079.  And lastly, come visit us at Common Cupboard or Common Things and bring along your Holiday Hero donation.

For any other information or to volunteer please contact me at or 704-458-3744.


Keith Adams
Common Heart Missional Community

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inquiring Minds Want to know ... What you thought about the Thanksgiving Outreach

There were a lot of folks that came out to The Commonplace today.  We packed up about 375 boxes filled with turkeys, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, stuffing, bread, desert ... all the fixin's.  If you were there would you write a brief comment or story about your experience.  Inquiring minds want to know!

Comment from Steven McKinnon:
Today was the culmination of lots of work and fun over the past few months working with Commonplace and all the great volunteers.  We were up at 6am headed over to Keith's place to assist in the organization of the delivery details.  Plenty of excitement as we got to work with all the delivery teams this year.  Last year, our first year to participate, we mostly sorted and packed food.  This year we got to meet all the delivery folks.  It was great and the feedback we got was that it just gets better every year.  It was great seeing friends, co-workers, neighbors, and all of our church members out helping today.  God is good and who needs any more proof then our day today.  Way to go Keith and Deb - keep up the great work.

From Facebook:
Elise -  "Keith, this was such a blessing for me and David today. We got lots of hugs and love coming our way. What an awesome Thanksgiving this will be!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Immediate Volunteer Help Needed

OCTOBER 15 - Work day at Common Things.  
Times: Saturday October 15, 10 am - 3 pm
Location: The Commonplace
We need to gather about 20 people together to help us go through items in our trailer and pick up items from a large yard sale.  We will also be moving items to our warehouse.  This can be a great
Sunday School, youth group, or family project.

Common Cupboard needs a person to regularly shop at Second Harvest. 
Times: Every Thursday, 1:30 - 5:00 pm
Location:  Will meet at The Commonplace and travel to Second Harvest in Charlotte and then return.
Duties: During our 1/2 hour shopping time you will be packing boxes of cans, and other items that you will help load into the truck.  Upon return you would help unload the truck and stock shelves.
*** If you travel to Second Harvest on your own you would need to meet the truck their no later than 2:25.  You would be done packing the truck by 3:15.  If all you have is that hour to give, you do not have to travel back to help at Common Cupboard.

Common Cupboard needs two people to help unload truck and  stock shelves
Times: Every Thursday, 3:45 - 5:00 pm
Duties: Help unload the truck and stock shelves.
*** We especially need a couple that are able to lift and move heavy boxes.

Common Things needs customer service and donation processing help
Times: Mon-Tue 1 - 6 pm, Wed - Fri 9:30 - 6 pm, Sat 9 am - 3 pm.
Duties: Varied especially due to what is needed on each day.  Processing donations is a major part of the work.  Straightening the store, and some light cleaning.  Customer interactions.  Possibly some work as a cashier.  Great resume building volunteer job.

Common Things needs someone to post items on Ebay and Craig's List.
Times: Varies based on your schedule
Duties: Post items, descriptions and monitor ads and auctions.  Answer questions of inquirers.  Coordinate receiving payment and sending out of items through our local pack and ship service..

To volunteer contact 
or 704-218-9060.

Love in Action ... banquet just 24 days away

Just a quick reminder.  The Love in Action Banquet and Silent Auction is less than a month away.  At 7 pm on Thursday October 27, about 350 people will gather at Weddington United Methodist Church to celebrate Common Heart's awesome volunteers.  We will dine on food from a dozen local restaurants, enjoy the music of Mt Zion Gospel Quartet, and hear some of our volunteers share their stories.  For more information and tickets, see your favorite volunteer, or go to Common Things Thrift Store, or go to this website

Here are a few pictures from last year.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Then the Cupboard was bare ...

Somehow we made it. 52 families served today. This is all we have left going into next Saturday's 65 families .
Frank and his crew packed every box needed today.  The last couple did not have the variety that others did, but they made it.  Fifty-two boxes packed for fifty-two families.  As you can see from the picture there is not much left on the shelves.

Next week it looks like we will be serving about 65 families.  We really can use your help.  We are going to need at least 1250 pounds of cans and other non-perishables to meet this need.  It is very unlikely that we will get much from Second Harvest.  (They have been running very low.  Last week we were not able to acquire a single can from them.  During the past several months the supply of cans has been very spotty at best.)

If you got a bag of groceries from 10 friends you would bring in about 100 pounds.  If we have just 13 of our friends gather cans from 10 friends we would have enough to meet our need on Saturday.  Click Here for more food drive ideas. Another way to help is to donate financially so we can buy what we need at Aldi's. If you would like to do this here is a link to PayPal or you can send a check to Common Heart, PO Box 2761, Indian Trail, NC 28079.