CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A program on Charleston’s West Side that helps children and provides for the community was a target of crime earlier this month. But leaders there are staying positive thanks to help from their community.
A $25,000 donation from the Partnership of African American Churches to Step by Step will help them feed people on Charleston’s West Side.
“Some is income or lack thereof, some is grandparents raising kids because parents may be incarcerated or it may just be a senior citizen who is having a need toward the end of the month,” said James Patterson, CEO of PAAC.
Step by Step CEO Michael Farmer is excited about the opportunity to expand the group’s work. They opened a Family Resource Center in April.
This good news comes at a time when everyone involved at Step by Step needed it. Two weeks ago someone broke into their building across the street taking gaming systems intended for their after school programs as well as food meant for children.
It was a heartbreaking set back that soon turned to inspiration as other community groups came forward to help replace what was lost.
“I’m more thankful for the community collaboration,” Farmer said. “We have to have different entities that say ‘you are doing this, you are doing this, how can we come together as a whole to support each other for this community’ because there is such a great need.”
The support from other groups helped Farmer and others find the silver lining in an unfortunate situation.
“It feels like you’ve got other people in your ring who are fighting with you,” Farmer said. “We may have taken a little damage when we were broken in to. But then you see your brothers and sisters say ‘Hey, we are here to surround you with our arms, and we want to be a resource to help out.'”