A long-awaited event for. Cleburne County Cares is about to take place. The grand opening and ribbon cutting of their new Food Pantry are set for 10:00 a.m. on April 3, 2018, at 2016 Highway 25-B North, Heber Springs. Located behind the CCC building, at the back of the property, the new pantry will serve approximately 400 clients each month.
Robert "Deacon Bob" Morris was the Executive Director of 'CARES' when it first opened its doors in 1986, as a thrift store dedicated to creating revenue to support a food bank. Although the location has changed several times 'Cares' has been instrumental in bringing services to members of the community in need. In 1987, when asked to do so by the Police Department, the group began collecting and delivering Christmas gifts to the needy. Following that they received a grant from the Division of Human Services to start a homeless shelter. They quickly realized it had turned out instead to be a shelter for women and children suffering abuse. With the assistance of Claude Show, then CCC Board President, a dedicated shelter for abuse victims was established and 'Margie's Haven House' opened its doors.
Through the support of local pastors and church members, CCC continued to grow and the number of volunteers increased. A Homeless Prevention Program was started to help struggling families pay utility bills, a Scholarship Program was established for single parents, and with the guidance of Dr. Mickey Barnett, and Marie Morris, a retired registered nurse, a Hospice program was organized to assist with end of life issues. The program lasted three years. CCC additionally provided support in establishing the Christian Health Center, and Regional Aids Interfaith Network.
As well as a Thrift Store and food pantry, CCC operates a Homeless Prevention Program, a Medical Assistance and Loan Program, a Christmas Program, and a Scholarship Program. 100% of CCC's income is derived from donations and over the last 30 years, the thrift store has generated over 4 million dollars. The programs are all staffed by generous volunteers who have donated over 750,000 hours of time.
The Food Pantry is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM. They provide a week's worth of food to each client, typically 70-80 pounds. Over the last 30 years 'Cares' Food Pantry has helped over 200,000 clients and given away over three million pounds of food. Volunteers are always needed and if you are available to assist you can call 501-362-8486 for further information.