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Post by Karim Shamsi-Basha from Alabama NewsCenter
Fifty years ago, Community Enabler founder and Director Maudine Holloway saw the needs in her community of Anniston. She responded with zeal.
“We are a program that was born out of the Methodist Church,” Holloway said. “Our concern was community needs, what the regular folks needed. We operate like this: I’m not gonna give you what I think you need, but you tell me what you need.”
Perhaps the mission statement says it all: “Enabling the community to become sensitized to the needs of the poor and to participate in public and private advocacy for the disadvantaged. Developing ministries that will meet the needs of the disadvantaged. Meeting the unmet needs of the citizens of Calhoun County.”
Holloway and her staff at Community Enabler carry on this mission with tenacity in the face of dreadful statistics. Alabama has an estimated 830,000 people struggling with hunger – 250,000 of them children – and in Calhoun County, some 17% of people are food insecure.
Holloway works to address those numbers head-on, overseeing the day-to-day operations at Community Enabler. August is Black Philanthropy Month and leaders of nonprofits are doing work throughout Alabama to better their communities and elevate the state.
Community Enabler has touched many lives in Calhoun County. In the early 1980s, Holloway knocked on doors and asked people what they wished for, what they needed. Now Community Enabler is well-known in and around Anniston.
“People just know about us because we’ve been here for 50 years,” she said. “We started with a few hundred dollars per month from the Methodist Church. We just continued to work and things got better little by little.”
Holloway said the Alabama Power Foundation has been a big help in Community Enabler helping others.
“We attended workshops with the Alabama Power Foundation and learned how to help people,” Holloway said. “People come and say, ‘This is not my food, it’s God’s food.’”
“We are not here because we are grand and good. We are here to serve. We just don’t want you to be hungry.”
For more information or to donate, visit www.communityenabler.info.
Alabama Bright Lights captures the stories, through words, pictures and video, of some of our state’s brightest lights who are working to make Alabama an even better place to live, work and play. Award-winning journalist Karim Shamsi-Basha tells their inspiring stories. Email him comments, as well as suggestions on people to profile, at [email protected].
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