In the fall of 2005, Jenny Avery felt that God was laying a burden on her heart to meet a very basic need. She saw that there was a need in her community for winter coats. Out of this burden, a free coat give away was started. She recruited a few friends and fellow Calera neighbors, together Avery, Ellie Harrington and Sue Duncan planned the first give away. Through word of mouth, they received and gave away between seventy five and one hundred coats at the old Calera Library Annex
The following year, Duncan came up with the group’s name, Calera Community Acts of Kindness (AOK). The volunteers in 2006 increased to ten and approximately two hundred people were able to received coats and other winter clothing. This growth necessitated a move to a larger facility; in 2007 the giveaway was moved to the Calera Community Center.Each year those volunteering grew. Their efforts were blessed with an abundance of clothes, with that increase the need of our community also grew. In 2010, the amazing leadership at the Calera National Guard invited us to use the National Guard Armory for our fall giveaway. It October of 2010, 856 people were blessed by the generous giving of clothing by hundreds in our community and through-out Shelby, Jefferson and Chilton Counties.
The City of Calera has always been an incredible supporter of this community service group. In March 2011, the Mayor and City Council declared March 5, 2011 as “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Day”. Through their declaration the entire city was encouraged to help their neighbors in need.Calera AOK is no longer just a twice a year clothing give away. We receive calls on a regular basis from those in need. Whether here in Calera when a family’s home burned, or around the world when a Tsunami hit Japan, or back home when the State of Alabama was struck by a horrific string of tornadoes, or simply meeting the needs of a hard working mama who needed firewood, clothing and a few things to give her children for Christmas, Calera Acts of Kindness recognizes that we all are subject to hard times – we desire to wrap our arms around our neighbors during times of hardship.
Calera Acts of Kindness does not have nonprofit status. We are simply a group of individuals who since 2005 have come together to meet the clothing needs of those in our area who are struggling. We are not a 501C3, just neighbors helping neighbors throughout the year with the generous giving of time and needed supplies by hundreds of kindhearted citizens, fantastic companies, compassionate churches and our dedicated local government.From friends, neighbors, or even to those we will never meet, we seek to meet the most basic of needs. Whether the need is right here or around the world, we desire to tangibly extend the love of Christ to those we serve, as well as those we work alongside.
For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205-281-1975 –Find Calera Acts of Kindness Clothing Give Away on Facebook at www.facebook.com/caleraaok or on Twitter @caleraaok