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POGA closes in on fundraising goal, continues good works

It’s been a busy month for Purpose of God church and annex, from fundraising efforts to helping place more people in need in quality housing. In recent months, Bishop Samuel Jones Jr. says he’s seen a lot of cooperation between local churches, crossing racial lines to do good for the community.

“We’ve got three or four white churches that want to come on board and work alongside my people,” Jones said. “We’re getting volunteers from about three or four different churches to help with the share shop, finding jobs, going to court and advocating and helping around here with the children.”

MISSION HOMES

Earlier this month, Purpose of God placed a family of five, a single mother with four children, in a new mission home on West Eighth Street. The woman was set to be evicted, and within two days, Jones says Purpose of God was able to find her a home and furnish it through the church. That woman is now enrolled in Project New Hope, learning skills she will need to advance her career.

A second woman, Ecense Jackson Jones, came to Beaufort County from Florida after being displaced by Hurricane Michael. Having gone through homelessness, domestic abuse and a host of other hardships, Ecense Jones was about to be evicted from her home, along with her newborn baby. After connecting with Bishop Jones’ son, however, she was able to find a new home and a job at the Annex.

“I volunteered with them for about two to four days and they offered me a job,” Escense Jones said. “That was really a blessing to me.”

Samuel Jones says the ultimate goal for these mission homes is for Purpose of God to be able to step out of the role of intermediary and let the renter and landlord continue the relationship together.

“After a year, when they prove they can pay their bills, keep the house and yard clean and maintain the dwelling, then we step out of the middle,” he said.

SHARE SHOP EXPANSION

While POGA opened up its first share shop last month in the back of Beaufort Builders on West Third Street, offering free clothes and household items to those in need, the donations have come in faster than they can be given away.

As a result, the Christian nonprofit has established a second, temporary share shop at the warehouse owned by Bill and Tomp Litchfield on Havens Street. Like the location across town, this warehouse space is packed with clothes, furniture and other items, all free to those who have a need. After speaking at the Heart to Heart Women’s Conference at Harvest Church last month, the donations have filled up that space as well.

Jones says the warehouse location will be typically open to the public from 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursdays, giving those in need an opportunity to come and get necessary items. The shop on Third Street is usually open Saturdays, based on need.

FUNDRAISING

Jones says financial donations from the Heart to Heart Conference, coupled with the fundraising efforts at the end of last year, have allowed POGA to bring back children who were unable attend afterschool programs in the fall. That places the program back up to 25 kids.

“It was over $16,000,” Jones said. “It will allow us the rest of the school year, up through June to bring back those kids we lost during the school year and then we can apply for a new grant. We’re only short about $1,700 to get through June.”

For more information on Purpose of God, call 252-974-1484.