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Cabarrus Magazine

'Up Front' Encourages Listeners to 'Be the Blessing' During this Season

Dec 03, 2020 04:46PM ● By Jason Huddle

Helping Others Cope

This week, we take the focus off ourselves and on to others as we talk to people making a difference in our community to help those in need. Our guests this week include Lt. Joshua Keaton, of the local branch of the Salvation Army, as well as Ed Hosack, from Cooperative Christian Ministry. Tune in to learn about what these organizations are doing to help those who need assistance and how you can help. Plus, if you're in need of help, we'll tell you how to get the assistance you need.

For more information on these organizations, or to contribute, visit and


Jason Huddle  00:00

Over the past year, relationships and wallets have been stretched thin. That doesn't negate the need to help others.


Joshua Keaton  00:06

A lot of times, man, you brought up the mentality of selfishness. I think that a lot of that was already taking place before the pandemic. But it intensifies. That makes sense. Yeah, in understanding that and knowing that that like in a community set full of people, we have to put others above ourselves.


Jason Huddle  00:26

Unfortunately, the need now is greater than in previous years


Ed Hosack  00:30

We've already distributed during COVID over $700,000 to help people deal with those rent arrears. And our annual budget for that is normally about 200 to 250,000.


Jason Huddle  00:42

This week, we shift the focus off ourselves and onto others, as we remember this Thanksgiving that we are truly blessed. That's coming up right now, on Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine, a presentation of CabCo Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Eye Center, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Geico Concord Mills office, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center, and Walk Cabarrus. I'm your host, Jason Huddle. Hello, my friends, and welcome once again to this Thanksgiving edition of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. Happy Thanksgiving to you. We're up to Episode 85. Now, as we've been stuffing our faces with Turkey and pie, I am reminded that we are truly blessed. Even though this has been a rough year for everybody. I'm pretty sure that all of us if we sit back and count our blessings, one by one, as the poem goes, we'll see everything that has been done for us and how we have been blessed in so many ways. And so I wanted to take the focus off of ourselves and off of what our individual needs are and focus on the community. There are a couple of great organizations locally that I wanted to highlight this week. One, of course, is one you're all familiar with the Salvation Army, they have a rescue shelter right here in Concord, and the local branch here serves Cabarrus and Stanley counties. We're going to have Lieutenant Joshua Keaton in to talk with us about that. And we're also going to have a returning friend of the podcast Ed Hosack from Cooperative Christian Ministry. You might remember we talked to him way back during the middle of the shutdown. Well, he's coming back to talk about some of the needs that his group is trying to meet as we enter this holiday season. Being that this is an episode that we are trying to focus on others, I will not be doing a shameless plug time this week. That seems oddly contradictive. However, I will tell you that I am very thankful for our presenting sponsor, CabCo Media Group. And of course, our community sponsors, which I just named in the intro. Every one of them is responsible for making sure this program happens each and every week. And I greatly appreciate that. So thank you very much to our sponsors. And thank you to the listeners who continue to keep this show a success by tuning in and sharing it on your Facebook pages. That having been said I have some obligations to our sponsors. But right after these couple of messages, we will have an hosek from Cooperative Christian Ministry on the line.


Commercial  00:42



Jason Huddle  03:38

Welcome back to the program. We are joined today by Ed Hosack. He is lead man over at the Cooperative Christian ministry. He has been a guest on our show a couple of times. So, Ed, thank you so much for being on the program.


Ed Hosack  04:43

You're welcome. Thanks for inviting me.


Jason Huddle  04:46

So let's talk about what you guys have been up to the last time we talked we were in the middle of the shutdown. And you guys were starting programs like making sure people had money that they needed for rent, making sure people had food They needed when things were really tight. Most everybody was out of a job. How did those programs play out? How did they how do they work out for the community?


Ed Hosack  05:09

Well, the programs are wide open, we're running on all cylinders. And fortunately, you know, CCM is here for crisis relief 365 days a year. So when this crisis hit, it was just a matter of ramping up. And that's exactly what we did. The community responded well, it early on with food relief. It was wasn't until September, we were actually able to purchase bulk food items. But the community got us through the first part, and we're in pretty good position right now. As far as food goes, in the last two weeks, we have seen the requests for food skyrocket. And really, we're not prepared for that, in the sense, we didn't expect it all of a sudden don't have a clear explanation as to why we have some ideas. But that has skyrocketed in the the need for financial assistance for folks who are struggling to pay their rent, or their utilities has been operating at about five or six times our normal capacity.


Jason Huddle  06:11



Ed Hosack  06:12

Yeah. But we've been very fortunate. And so we've been able to meet those needs. Our biggest challenge is a lot of tired staff and volunteers. But they've been troopers. And the community has been great. And we've been able to meet those needs thus far. Very good.


Jason Huddle  06:27

Let's talk about your needs. Now, as we head into the holiday season. In fact, as this episode is released, it is in fact Thanksgiving, what are some needs that you guys are seeing on the community? And how can people help you guys to meet those needs?


Ed Hosack  06:44

Well, like I said,we are seeing an increase in the food requests. Right now, there are a number of possibilities that are causing that. And maybe it's all three, certainly, there are some individuals who have just made their initial investment filling their tank with oil or gas for the winter season. And that has could put a strain on the family. there perhaps are others who are feeling a little bit of expectation from their children as far as Christmas goes, and maybe trying to get ahead a little bit financially to be able to do something special. And there's also likely some anxiety either that there'll be another shutdown, or the virus itself. And and these are families, maybe they don't have the capacity to store up a little. And so they're using this means to try to get ahead when it comes to groceries to feed their family. So we're meeting that need right now we're in good position. But I will tell you that any church, any household, any group that wants to do some type of a food drive, those are essential to keeping us ahead of the curve. As far as that goes. The the issues of rent are tremendous. And we've been on the front line with that. Our biggest concern, we're right now, quite frankly, we were stretching those relief dollars to get through December. And we think that January will take care of itself, we're really concerned about relief dollars beyond January right now, because we don't anticipate the need is going to go away. In fact, the moratorium on evictions will end at the end of this year. And we're really bracing for a challenge in January and February. So the need to help folks financially is going to be there we've already distributed during COVID over $700,000 to help people deal with those rent arrears. And our annual budget for that is normally about 200 or 250,000. So we couldn't have done it without the community support. And we're just glad we're in a place to do that. It is the holidays. So there are opportunities to adopt a family for Christmas. There's a ccms Senior Care and cheer shoe box program that we do with meals on wheels for delivery. That is just a way to touch the lives of seniors who are in many cases, hunker down at home and very much alone. So those opportunities are there as well as the toy closet and the empty stocking fun and, and getting involved in those programs as well.


Jason Huddle  09:14

So let's walk through those things. If someone wants to do a food drive or donate to this fund, how can they go about doing that?


Ed Hosack  09:25

 If you're if you're thinking about a food drive, and remember, it's not always food, sometimes those those other household toiletries and cleaning supplies, and other essentials are all part of the grocery budget. So those are important too. The best thing to do is go to our website and look at what the pantry needs are this week. If you're responding, and then then just you know, do your best with that and drop by the crisis center in Concord with those items and they'll probably move into a family's household pretty quickly. For financial you can give online or you can certainly send a check to CCN And if you want to designate that, for financial relief, then do so. And that's exactly where it'll go, if you want to just make a general contribution. And we'll just make darn sure that we're good stewards of those dollars, and out there making a difference in the lives of folks.


Jason Huddle  10:14

And what is that website Ed?


Ed Hosack  10:16

Our website is Cooperative Ministry .Com, that's Cooperative Ministry with a


Jason Huddle  10:23

And we'll make sure we put that in the show notes for everyone. How are you guys doing as far as enacting procedures to give away food, toiletries, or money and still maintain the safety of your volunteers and for those receiving in the, in the COVID? pandemic? What do you guys what steps are you guys taking in that To that end?


Ed Hosack  10:46

Yeah, well, back in March, immediately we, we changed our models, we went to a drive thru model our food pantry, and Samaritans table, our evening meal program. And quite frankly, those those early models have worked. We've tweaked a little bit for volume, especially when the volume peaks like right now. But we're using drive thru models. We're using all the right protocols as it relates to volunteers, in interacting with the folks who are coming through in the drive thru. The folks who are coming and receiving help have been very cooperative and in helping us make sure that we can deliver the goods and in a shopping cart, and they're able to load them in their car. In order to protect folks, we've been very, very fortunate operating during this entire time and have been spared any any type of you know, outbreak among staff and volunteers. The financial request model went online immediately. And we're still functioning online there. So once again, if someone needs that type of assistance, they can go to our website, fill out the application for financial assistance, and they'll receive a call. And that'll be handled one on one via the telephone, and the internet or email, whatever is most appropriate for that household.


Jason Huddle  12:03

Sounds good and finally, if I am somebody that needs to come through and get some toiletries, groceries, whatever, where do I go?


Ed Hosack  12:11

Let's see seems Crisis Center is our main food pantry on Country Club drive in Concord, behind the Carolina mall, and Monday through Friday from 10 to1 that drive thru is open. We have seven other satellites, and I can't list them for you right now. And people remember them. But once again, if they go to our website, and they're looking for food and the food pantries, then they can look at the listing of our satellite pantries that are open at various time. So if you are blessed to be working, but still needing the help, and you can't get to our crisis, center it between 10 and one. There are some evening and some weekend satellite pantries that you're welcome to access.


Jason Huddle  12:57

All wonderful information Ed Hosack with the cooperative Christian ministry here in Concord, thank you so much for being on the program today and we certainly appreciate what you guys are doing in this community.


Ed Hosack  13:07

Thank you, Jason. We appreciate the community as well.


Jason Huddle  13:09

Are you guys stay tuned, we will be joined by Lieutenant Joshua Keaton from the Cabarrus and Stanley county branch of the Salvation Army right after these messages.


Commercial  13:18



Jason Huddle  13:25

Welcome back to the program. I am joined today in studio. I don't get a lot of in studio interviews lately, but I am joined today in studio by Lieutenant Joshua Keaton, of the Salvation Army. Joshua has been gracious enough to give us part of his time today to talk about how the Salvation Army is doing and what their needs are. As we come in into the holiday season. The reason why I wanted to do this show Joshua is because a lot of times, especially this year, we're kind of very self centered when thinking about how can I get mine? How can I get by everybody's been struggling through COVID? Right. So the reason why I wanted to do this show is to point out the fact that we have some real needs right here in our own community that we need to take care of, as well. So first of all, thank you for being on the program, not a problem, not a problem. So tell us a little bit about your history with the Salvation Army and how you guys have been coping through the COVID, shutdowns and all the pandemic.


Joshua Keaton  15:39

Well, man, I've been a part of your army ever since I was six, I grew up playing a brass instrument, going to camps and different things of that nature, I guess, actually, working at Camp is where I met my wife, Lieutenant, Amanda Keaton, and been happily married now for 11 years to some beautiful blessed little boys. And yeah, we're glad to be serving here in comparison. stanly County, so a lot of times, man, you brought up the mentality of selfishness. I think that a lot of that was already taken place before the pandemic. Oh, for sure. Um, but it intensified, if that makes sense. Yeah, in understanding that, and knowing that, that like, in a community set full of people, we have to put others above ourselves. And that's what we have been doing with the Salvation Army. Since the beginning of COVID. Man, we've we went on lockdown in our shelter where our shelter residents, or we didn't really mandate them to stay like they could go and come as they saw fit. But we wanted to make sure everyone was safe, because we didn't know where they were going. And we would just want to make sure everyone was good to go. So whenever they were there, and we I mean, we had to wear a mask and everyone was around one another, it almost became a fishbowl mentality a little bit because we're all on top of one another because we have separation, but then there's really not separation. And so just dealing with different personalities of different people from different backgrounds, different walks of life, and understanding that not everyone is at the same level. So that's been fun through COVID, for sure.


Jason Huddle  17:16

Have you been able to take in families into the shelter?


Joshua Keaton  17:19

Yes, we have. We currently are in the middle of a capital campaign. And I'm glad you brought that up about family. So we are now getting ready to make headway. We're currently working on a few other detailed things on our end, so we can get a shovel in the ground so we can break ground. We reached our our goal so we could break ground at 5.7. Just last week, that message came across during our board meeting and our board is ecstatic right now, because of what we're at, we're still looking to gain another 1.6. So we can have endowments and different things of that nature. So we can func function and be able to operate the way that we need to operate with this new shelter. But to answer your question, yes, we we have been taken in families, whether they've been there for a week, two weeks, up to a month, three months, it just all depends on what their game plan was when it got there. So it's been interesting.


Jason Huddle  18:16

I know every families, and every person that you take in I know their stories are all different. But kind of give us a on average. Why are these families there? What What is their need? Have they just made bad choices? Bad luck? What What's the story?


Joshua Keaton  18:33

Oh, it can be a variety of different things, I guess you could say they've fallen on a hard time whether they've lost jobs or whatever the case may be. So again, and everyone that comes to they have a different story. I mean, you can be running from domestic abuse, you could have lost your job, you could have been just tossed out of your place and nowhere to go. You could have been living with family that didn't want you to stay anymore. And they said Hey, you got to figure out something that you got to do. And so our door being that we are the only emergency shelter in comparison county has the opportunity to be able to pull people in and allow them to come in and have a safe place to stay until they can get on their feet.


Jason Huddle  19:11

Have you seen a higher influx of need this year as opposed to previous years?


Joshua Keaton  19:17

Pre COVID? Yes, during COVID it was kind of hit and miss because everyone was staying in place and they were kinda following the orders of governor Cooper or whatnot. And I will say, monetarily, it has gone through the roof with what we have been doing. Hence the reason why we're still trying to raise the funds for us this year with our goal at $172,000 through our kettle campaign this year with our bell ringers.


Jason Huddle  19:45

Tell us about your COVID precautions. Since we're on the subject. What kind of safety measures are you guys putting in place for families that come and stay at the shelter?


Joshua Keaton  19:54

Well, so we are requesting anyone that comes in we don't want to demand anyone to do anything but we Do request that when any individual or family comes in that they know they have a covid test, and it needs to be a recent test within the last five days. And we try to test all of our clients monthly, because again, they're going out, they're going to doctor's appointments, they're visiting with family, they're hanging around other those in the homeless community. And so we just want to make sure we're doing right by them. And we have a great partnership with Kabira throwin. Health Center. with Don Holman and his crew, they they come once a month, I think our next upcoming one is on the 30th of this month. So they're drawn through testing, and they get your results back to you within the same day, if not the next. So that's that's one of the biggest ways we we monitor everyone that comes in, we do temperature checks, we ask them, you have a cough, fever, anything of that nature, everyone has to wear a mask while they're in the facility just so that they can be safe. And I know that for a while there, there was a big issue with some people that we had come in, and we were like, Okay, we got a new client coming in, don't come at them sideways, if they don't have a mask on, let them get acclimated accustomed to what our rules and settings and stuff are. And because we had a couple that were like, wow, like they were sure they need to have a mask on like. Well, you didn't follow the rule at the beginning, even when we started. So just be patient with them. Give them some time, and hopefully everyone to get on board.


Jason Huddle  21:27

So how are you guys doing with volunteers? Are you needing volunteers this season?


Joshua Keaton  21:31

Oh man, we we always need volunteers. We we do so much man. We have not stopped, our doors have literally stayed open. During this entire thing. I myself have put in Tom within our shelter to make sure that we're covered all the way across the board. I had a couple of my employees go down due to health reasons. And I had one his doctor said, Hey, man, don't go back to work, you need to be done this because he was just up in age and we missed them, we love them. But at the same time, I think it's important that when your doctor tells you to do something that you need to follow it. So we've been doing everything that we can and so anytime anyone wants to volunteer man, they can just come by the main office, they can reach us on our Facebook page, the Salvation Army of Concord. And they can reach out to us through messenger on there and either my wife or someone else a part of our team will respond and they can get them some dates and times of what we've got going on. And if they feel so lead, then we welcome them so.


Jason Huddle  22:32

What is the main address of the office in Concord?


Joshua Keaton  22:36

So our main address is 216. Patterson Avenue South East of course Concord, 28025, I mean, anytime anyone wants to come and we welcome so.


Jason Huddle  22:47

Sure and what's that phone number?


Joshua Keaton  22:48



Jason Huddle  22:52

Wonderful Lieutenant Joshua Keaton, the Salvation Army. Thank you so much for joining us today.


Joshua Keaton  22:57

Yes, sir.


Jason Huddle  22:58

 All right, you guys. Stay tuned. We'll be back in just a moment.


Commercial  23:00



Jason Huddle  24:23

I want to thank once again, Lieutenant Joshua Keaton from the Salvation Army and Ed Hosack from Cooperative Christian ministry for being on the program. I appreciate them taking their time because they are busy people trying to help the needs of others. And I think we could stand to learn a lot from that. As I said at the beginning of the program this year has been tough for everybody. There's no question and in times like these, we tend to kind of circle the wagons and turn a blind eye to those in need, because we ourselves are in need but there's something thing about when you take the time to give to others, even in your time of distress, that not only are you so much more of a blessing for that person, but generally you find that those blessings are returned to you tenfold. Not that that is our motivation. But I think it stands to reason that only good can come from you, blessing someone else. So as you sit down this Thanksgiving, even if it's at a smaller table this year, remember that you are blessed. And at some time, someone blessed you. That's all the time I have for today. I do thank you for listening to Up Front with Cabrrus Magazine. It is produced and hosted by yours truly Jason Huddle and is presented by CabCo Media Group. We're also sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, Cabarrus Eye Center, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Geico Concord Mills office, Level Up Realty, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. As always, please remember to support those that support us. Until next week, fill up on that Turkey and pie ya`ll.

Episode 85: Be the Blessing

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