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Welcome to Friendship Helping Ministries!
Friendship Helping Ministries was founded by Executive Director Thomas D. Sharts in April of 1999.
Mr. Sharts is a Professor of Sociology and Human Services with Florence Darlington Technical College. According Mr. Sharts, he founded Friendship Helping Ministries as an opportunity to learn what "theories regarding social services and education actually yield results in the real world." He says, "too many higher education programs of social work/education and professors therein - determine their instruction upon purely theoretical practices with little or no understanding of how the real world actually functions.
Thomas D. Sharts
Executive Director Friendship Helping Ministries
Ministries group mines waste - Philanthropy Journal-Your online source for news about nonprofits, social issues, and policy change
A teacher and former social worker, Sharts four years ago formed Friendship Helping Ministries to serve people lacking basic necessities.His group scouts for edible food and usable goods that companies discard, as well as wealth and know-how that individuals can be reluctant to share, Sharts says."The whole reality of American culture is waste, waste, waste, waste," he says."The vision is to become a good steward of resources."Sharts, who runs the charity as a volunteer while teaching part-time at Central Piedmont Community College and two other schools, raises about $40,000 a year through grants, cash contributions and the sale of donated appliances and other products.He uses that money to buy food for about 500 individuals and families, build wheelchair ramps for half-a-dozen homes that need them, make home repairs and deliver other services for people facing tough times.Sharts, who also teaches at Carolinas School of Health Sciences and gives online courses for Florence-Darlington Technical College in Florence, S.C., recruits students to tutor a dozen youngsters in English and math.In June, he plans to open a retail store to sell products donated or sold at deep discounts by local businesses and merchants with which he is developing relationships."In the evolution of Friendship Ministries, this is stage one," says Sharts."These are all outreach programs, going out in the community and meeting dire needs that don't need a lot of manpower."But Sharts, who moved to Charlotte in 1994 and worked for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Department of Social Services after training to be a social worker and social-studies teacher in his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., aims to expand."The plan," he says, "is to communicate to people in the Charlotte metro community how imperative it is to get out of the little world you're in and basically confront the social problems of urban living, which predominantly relate to illiteracy, limited vocational skill development, substance abuse and criminal behaviors."Friendship Ministries, at 3925-A Morris Field Drive, can be reached at 704-697-0072.
According to Friendship Helping Ministries Executive Director, Thomas D. Sharts, "For the past two years, the Food Lion Charitable Foundation has been a committed supporter of our emergency food assistance objectives.
Microsoft gives $55K for computer literacy - Charlotte Business Journal:
The funding will "aid in the fight against economic deprivation in Charlotte and allow our clients access to the technology and training needed to tap into new job opportunities that can potentially change their lives," says Thomas Sharts, executive director of Friendship Helping Ministries.