Serving our neighbors in need by providing food and nurturing hope.
Our Vision (what we want)
A community where no one should feel the hurt of hunger.
To provide a benevolent ministry to Macon County residents who are unable to provide for themselves due to a crisis situation. Founded by a family of Christian churches, this service-oriented ministry provides the staff, volunteers, donors and partners an opportunity to collectively grow and express their faith through serving our neighbors and ministering to their spiritual, social, physical, and emotional needs.
The History of our Ministry
Through the years, many individuals dedicated their time and ideas, contributing greatly to CareNet, helping to mold and shape it into the wonderful ministry it is today. According to what information is available, the first meeting was held in February of 1987, which lead to the formation of Macon County Care Network (CareNet) in August of 1988. On September 30th of 1988 Macon County Care Network was granted Articles of Incorporation. CareNet received it’s 501 (c)(3) , non-profit status in September of 1989 allowing for charitable solicitation.
At that time, many Churches had their own food pantry and provided assistance to those in need. However, the needs grew and the churches felt the impact, becoming aware of the fact that they were also assisting several of the same people.
Five individuals representing different denominations from five local churches came together with common goals toward the vision of a cooperative coordinated effort; forming a network between churches and other agencies available assistance, in which to provide immediate relief during times of crisis. This cooperative effort would be able to accomplish more in the community by becoming one central location in which the shared information would benefit the clients as well as the organizations providing the assistance.
Local citizens of Macon County who were poor, oppressed, and hungry receiving aide, would be encouraged to be independent and self-reliant, instead of dependent on a system. At the same time maintaining their dignity, was vital. The Board of Directors felt the continued population growth as well as everyday situations requiring more capital. This sparked a seed for a thrift store.
Bargains Galore, opened its doors on September 15th, 1997. The purpose of the store was to compensate for the overhead of the ministry, allowing for more funding and expansion as well as a source of items needed by the clients. In November 2004, the Board voted to change the name of the store to:
CareNet Thrift Store
The purpose was so that customers would make the immediate connection to the main agency.
Several other influences prompted two more motions from the board. Expansion in February 2005 into the old MANNA building was brought on by the continued increase/demand for services/needs over the years. The anticipation of continued growth speculated by county statistics. The next was a devastating natural occurrence.
In April 2005, CareNet became the designated non-profit for Macon County in the future plans for Disaster Relief due to the impact from the historical Flood from Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. This unfortunate disaster brought many agencies together for the greater good of the citizens for Macon County, toward a central location.
In October of 2005, with the support of the Zoning Board and Town Alderman, an amendment was made to the city zoning which allowed this ministry to relocate to 130 Bidwell Street. Therefore, locating out of the flood zone and preferably CareNet’s permanent place of residence.
All of these values and visions still hold true today, as CareNet continues to provide aide to Macon County residents when and where it can, making a difference in someone’s life through:
- Providing assistance to those in need
- Ministering to one’s emotional and spiritual needs
- Helping preserve one’s dignity
- Holding one accountable for appropriate use of the system