Joseph’s Coat in new home: Neighboring agencies Joseph’s Coat, Caring Place, Action, Inc. and Harvest of the Heart Garden work together to benefit people

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Joseph's Coat manager Sue Benefield outside the new location. Photo by Stephanie Johns

Joseph’s Coat manager Sue Benefield outside the new location. Photo by Stephanie Johns

By Stephanie Johns

Staff Writer

Joseph’s Coat is settling into its new home at 1140 Monticello Highway in Madison. The charitable location relocated there in January.

An outreach of the Madison Episcopal Church of the Advent, Joseph’s Coat has been in business for years.

Manager Sue Benefield said they offer name-brand clothing for the whole family as well as books, toys, and housewares.

“It’s a very nice shopping experience because our clothing is sized and labeled with the price,” she said.

Not only do they sell items at a nominal cost, they also offer grab-bags of clothing – items that might have a tear or stain – free of charge.

Also, the larger space has allowed them to organize clothes, putting the men’s, infants’, and children’s clothing in their own rooms with the women’s and housewares side-by-side in another portion of the building.

She said she and the other volunteers are concerned because some of their loyal customers have not found them at their new home.

Customers visiting Joseph’s Coat can make use of the three other organizations in close proximity to them as their new neighbors include The Caring Place, Action Inc., and Harvest of the Heart Garden.

The Caring Place distributes donated food from 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

Volunteer Mary Pickles explained that they give away food to those in need: one box of food per Morgan County residence twice a month.

She said the food comes from the Atlanta Foodbank as well as Walmart, Publix, donations, a mail drive, and monetary donations.

Also, she said Mike Conrads has been “very generous” as he donates the buildings they are housed in, “He supports all of this.”

They give food to an average of 175 to 225 people each week. Benefield explained that these numbers indicate the name on record receiving the food and that the food may benefit up to five people in each household.

Action, Inc. offers services aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays.

Assistant Coordinator Candice Robinson shared details of the organization via email.

She noted that services offered include strategic planning, overcoming employment barriers, providing employment and family support, referring people to other agencies, and providing emergency assistance. They also have a weatherization department to help with minor repairs and home weatherization.

Harvest of the Heart Garden distributes fresh produce to people from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Fridays. Also on offer: dry food goods, books, toys, and clothes. All items are free to customers.

Volunteer Curtis Ann Lunceford shared that they also offer Christian literature to anyone who wants it.

Volunteers from each of these organizations spoke about how they work together to serve their customers, making their location a one-stop-shop.

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