The Real Life Center continues offering help and hope during pandemic

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The Real Life Center was founded just over 20 years ago from an observation that there were several families in our community who needed a hand up during hard times. Never did we imagine that 20 years later, we would be a central and integral location of real help and real hope for hundreds of families a week who know firsthand the financial challenges that result from unemployment, divorce and health issues, not to mention the loss of wages as a result of a pandemic.

Currently, the Real Life Center continues to serve as a beacon of hope in our community through their modified Food Program serving whoever needs food. For the safety of everyone, we are serving families through a drive-thru system where volunteers put pre-bagged food into the back of the vehicles as the families remain in their cars. Families receive a generous amount of pre-bagged food including items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as fresh produce, meat, tissue paper, and personal hygiene products during modified hours of Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 9-12 and Thursday evenings from 5-7 pm. 

“The Real Life Center is such a blessing to so many people even in the midst of trouble in the world, they still make a way to serve people,” Theresa, who has been a part of the Real Life Center full program, shares. “Even though the inside of the building is closed, they still allow you to drive through and they load your car with food items. They are true angels. I have full confidence that the Real Life Center will continue to keep it real for real people.”

Another way we are serving the community is through the monthly Mobile Food Pantry which is still scheduled for Thursday, April 16 from 10 am to noon at Grace Church, 164 Flat Creek Trail, Fayetteville. During the Mobile Food Pantry, an average of 200 families are served in a two-hour time frame each month with food donated from the Atlanta Food Bank. Families remain in their cars and drive from station to station allowing volunteers to place the food items in their trunks.

The Mobile Food Pantry has been such a blessing each month to so many and will be even more so in April as more families than ever will be in a financial situation to benefit from this program. 

The COVID-19 crisis has interrupted some of our usual operating procedures and programs. We have limited our normal programs to minimize face-to-face interaction. Educational classes and financial assistance programs are suspended temporarily in order to stay within the parameters suggested by our government to prevent spreading the coronavirus. We will resume these programs as soon as possible. 

At this time, we cannot accept the donation of clothing or other items at this time. Please drop off all food donations to the back of the Center preferably Monday through Thursday from 9 to noon. 

What has not changed is that the Real Life Center is focused more than ever in meeting needs in our community and sharing hope and love through a smile and encouraging words during a time where even a brief moment of connection makes a significant difference. Even through social distancing, we continue to strive to be a place where neighbor helps neighbor and encourages all of us to take that to the next level.  

We hope that you will find out who is at risk in your own neighborhoods and offer to go to the grocery for them. Call a loved one who you know is shut in and feeling the weight of loneliness even more than normal.  We are all living in a time where the world needs neighbors helping neighbors now more than ever and are called to offer real hope and real help to others!

The Real Life Center needs the ongoing support of individuals, businesses, and churches through food donations and financial support to purchase food. Financial donations may be made securely at https://reallifecenter.org/donations/.  As guidelines permit and the Real Life Center is able to go back to their full programming, additional funding will be needed to help families with financial assistance with rent and utilities due to the pandemic.

Visit our website for a link to the food items they are most in need of.

Real Life Center volunteers Vicki Free, George Holguin, and Jennifer Dobbs serve drive-thru clients.