BUCM - David Burleson food pantry pic

Dr. David Burleson, executive director of Burke United Christian Ministries, takes stock of food in the ministry's pantry.

As the 2018-19 year comes to a close, Burke United Christian Ministries has many reasons to give thanks. Our ministry has been able to complete renovations to our food pantry, welcome center, showers and storage areas. A huge thank you goes to Roofing Brothers for the outstanding work they did. With the support and work of Lawrence Camp, BUCM has taken a huge step in becoming “paperless.” This automation has saved us time and money. BUCM has truly been blessed this year with an incredible staff and wonderful opportunities. Without these two groups, our ministry would cease to exist. We have also been able to establish new partnerships and forge new relationships as well as strengthening our existing community partnerships.

These blessings are perfect examples of what can be accomplished when a community works together. BUCM continues to be blessed with wonderful supporters and volunteers. Because of our community’s support, BUCM has been able to meet the needs of our Burke County neighbors in the following areas:

» A total of 78,940 individuals representing 36,722 households received services

» Soup Kitchen served 75,665 meals (Adult – 72,109, Children – 3,556)

» Food Pantry distributed 1,080,029 pounds of food to 22,766 individuals

» Clothing Closet provided 5,568 Individuals with clothing valued at $105,849.59 (over 600 children were assisted with back to school items with grant from the Burke Youth Opportunity Philanthropists of the Community Foundation and the Burke United Way.)

» Senior Santa brought cheer to 170 individuals

» Wood Ministry provided loads of wood to 62 individuals

» Baby Bucks Ministry provided 326 young children with diapers and wipes valued at $ 1,808 along with 18 Better Start Baby Bags. (This assistance was made possible through the diaper closet at St. Matthews Methodist Church and by the support of Morganton First Methodist Church and the Burke Women’s Fund)

» Volunteers gave 43,490.75 hours valued at $1,066,038.02

» Homeless Assistance Provided: homeless supplies - 551 individuals received materials valued at $10,145.50; laundry vouchers – 500 (Thanks Hunter’s Laundry Mat of your support); Rain Hill Shower Kits – 1,990 showers.

» Crisis financial assistance provided: cooling - $35,049.28; heating - $29,189; rent - $36,799.93; utilities - $33,692.01; food pantry - $47,711; soup kitchen - $56,055.92.

» Total community assistance - $238,496.85

As evidenced by the statistics above, Burke County is a caring and supportive place to live and work.

On June 29, BUCM held our second annual golf tournament, Chipping for Change, at Silver Creek Plantation. The tournament would not have been possible without the work of Haven Worley, who put this very successful tournament together for BUCM. A big thank you also to Terry Rogers and his staff at Silver Creek Plantation for all their help and support. Without our sponsors, the tournament could not have been the success it was. We are greatly appreciative of the following full sponsors: Wendy B’s; Food Lion; Chic-fil-A; Pepsi; Country Side BBQ; Grey and Betty Carswell; James Tool Machine and Engineering (2 holes); Carbon City Body Shop; Carolina Health Care System Blue Ridge; Boggs, Crump & Brown PA; Larry McMahon and Rob Denton; Toni Powers; Mobile Services; AJ’s Steak House; Small & Martin; and Hidden Valley Venue.

Our half-hole sponsors were: Riverside Golf and RV Park; Catawba Company; Nationwide (Kelly Messenhiemer and Keith Bowers); and Burke Bedding.

A big thanks to our hole in one sponsors: Case Farms; Ricky Bristol; and Mark Buff.

With the high summer demand for additional food, the funds raised from the golf tournament will be used to meet this summer’s demands in the soup kitchen and food pantry.

Burke United Christian Ministries extends gratitude to the grocery stores, and restaurants that we harvest from weekly. Food Harvesting may seem like an interesting term to you, so let us share our definition with you: Going to local grocery stores and restaurants to pick up items that are nearing their sale by date or are leftovers to be donated to our ministry. These items include, but are not limited to: fresh produce, meat, bread, desserts, pizza, soup and frozen food. Some of our partnerships with stores are through Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. We appreciate all of the places that allow BUCM to Food Harvest from, including: Food Lion at Fiddlers Run, Food Lion on Fleming Drive, Food Lion on Bost Road, Food Lion on Burkemont Avenue, Food Lion on Main Street in Valdese, Walmart Super Center, Walmart Express, Little Caesars’ Pizza, Pizza Hut of Morganton and Valdese, The Pie Hole, Moon Dog, Timberwoods, Abele’s Family Restaurant, Yianni’s Restaurant and Panera Bread. Consider supporting these stores and restaurants as gratitude for their generous donations. 

We, at the Burke United Christian Ministries, believe our volunteers, sustaining churches and community members are essential to our mission if we are to meet the needs of the diverse group of clients we serve. It is my prayer that each of our churches would make a commitment to provide support to our clients. If any church, Sunday School Class or individual would like to donate or volunteer, we would love for you to do that. We are so appreciative to our churches and community members whose support makes BUCM possible.

More than anything, I ask for your prayers for me and for our ministry that we would make Godly and wise decisions. I also ask that you pray that our clients not only be provided the resources they need, but also, that we would be Christian role models for their lives. Please say a special prayer for me as I transition into the role of director of New Dimensions Charter School.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.