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The Community Cafe needs a new home, and we hope there’s a Lake Wylie organization that can help keep this ministry alive here.
Started by River Hills Community Church volunteers, the cafe has been dishing out free soup and sandwich meals since January 2010. The brainstorm of church members, the effort was launched during the coldest months to help families during the economic recession. With more than 33,000 meals served in Lake Wylie since opening (plus 7,500 in the Fort Mill location that opened in 2011), it has been nourishing more than bellies.
The Cafe has filled a vision, too, of sharing in community fellowship – “creating new friendships and new relationships with people in the community,” as River Hills Community Church leaders said at its start. Every Wednesday at lunchtime, strangers sit down together to share a meal at the cafe. But they leave knowing a little bit more about their neighbors, their friends and families. The Cafe encourages a greater sense of community – togetherness.
In a time when, studies show, one in 10 families never eat a meal together, the Cafe has extended a hand in reaching out, welcoming its community to come in and sit down for a meal together. It has pulled a community together. It has been a unifier. The Cafe uses such a welcoming model, in fact, it draws in people from all walks of life – those in financial struggles and those who can donate to keep the meals and the ministry afloat.
It’s unfortunate this outreach program no longer fits in the church’s vision.
The value of this successful outreach program is priceless. We hope someone else will step forward to save this community ministry.