Norma Murphy likes helping people. It's a value she picked up as a child in the Southern Baptist Church.
Now as the social worker for the Salvation Army Family Store on West Main in Forest City, she gets to help a lot of people with rent, utilities, food, and clothing.
She can be reached at 828-287-0855.
The pandemic has upped the ante.
"We're seeing people who have never had to ask for help before, men especially who used to just think of us as a place to drop off donations," Murphy said from her office in the Family Store.
"I've had wonderful relationships with wonderful people," she said. Wait a minute. Aren't these the lazy, shiftless, no good bums?
"Elderly people struggling to make it on social security, people who have lost their jobs, single moms struggling with kids. There has definitely been an increase since March," she said. "It has been very eye-opening. You learn that people are all the same."
Everybody needs help when they're in trouble.
Murphy's 14-year-old daughter interrupted her mom's career with the Salvation Army which began in 1999, but her most recent stint has now lasted five years. She stayed home with her daughter early on.
Food is supplied by Walmart through the Second Harvest Food Bank, but private individuals also come by with food donations from time to time as there is a widespread awareness of the current crisis.
Individuals can also give money.
Murphy's faithfulness to her upbringing in the Southern Baptist Church brings to mind Jesus's orders in the 25th Chapter of Matthew. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned and make peace, "For in as much as you have done it to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me."
If you need help, they've got it. If you've got help, they need it.