Clayton Area Ministries helps keep community fed

Organization also helps pay power, gas bills for the area’s needy

By Matt CaulderDecember 8, 2012 

  • Let’s be-Devil Barry! If your donations to our Holiday Guide to Giving charities top $58,000 this year, columnist Barry Saunders will don the garb of his hated Duke Blue Devils for a picture we’ll publish Dec. 21. So far, we have more than $6,000. Please go to our database of local charities at nando.com/holidaygiving, and click “search” to see the entire list. If you make a donation by Dec. 19, send an email to Burgetta Wheeler at bwheeler@newsobserver.com with the amount, your name or company’s name, and a phone number. Please put “Holiday Challenge” in the subject line. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

— In the 13 years Dale Matthews has worked with Clayton Area Ministries, she has seen the ministry grow from essentially a one-person operation to a driving force fighting hunger in the Clayton area.

Matthews, the director of CAM for the past five years, said she loves every minute she spends being “the hands of Christ” to the people in Clayton.

CAM – a free-standing, faith-based organization – does not receive any government assistance, but is funded instead by donations from schools, businesses, scouts, churches and civic organizations. It is one of the many charities you can find in The News & Observer’s Holiday Guide to Giving this year.

Every week, a group of CAM volunteers buys food from a Raleigh food bank to give to those in need between 1 and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday in CAM’s building at 704 E. Main St. in Clayton. CAM also accepts food and monetary donations there.

To get food from CAM, a person must have a voucher from a participating Clayton-area church. Matthews said this is to make sure recipients know CAM is faith-based and that Jesus Christ has a part in their being fed.

Keeping the heat on

One time per year per family, CAM will give money to pay a power and gas bill between November and April. CAM also evaluates the needs of families and determines how much money will help them through the winter.

Some of those who get help from CAM also volunteer there.

“They show up and they really have a heart where they enjoy helping others,” Matthews said. “I know their situations and what they need, but they are here helping.”

How to help

CAM takes donations of anything that might help someone in the kitchen. You can even leave items on the porch when the office is closed.

“Just don’t leave meat on the front porch,” Matthews said.

CAM especially likes when kid-friendly foods such as peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, or cereal are donated.

Anyone who wants to volunteer can go to the office or call 919-553-5654.

“We are all called to serve one another,” notes the CAM website, www.claytonareaministries.org. “The only requirement is a smile and be willing to assist brothers and sisters in need as you become the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Caulder: 919-829-4758

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