C-CAP volunteers spread joy year round

December 14, 1997

by Richard T. Meagher / staff photographer

C-CAP volunteers spread joy year round

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail Co. is highlighting 12 different individuals or groups who make a difference to others during the holiday season.


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - "We're Christmas all year long. Not just the giving, but the caring," Joan Roach said between helping people at the C-CAP offices in the First Presbyterian Church in Martinsburg.

Roach is one of scores of volunteers for the Congregational Cooperative Action Project who help families get past tough times.

Amid stacks of government pasta and cans, boxes and jars of donated goods, another volunteer packed food for needy families at Loaves and Fishes, C-CAP's food pantry.


C-CAP is more than a food pantry, according to the Martinsburg woman, who joined in 1982 when it was formed by the churches of Berkeley County. It helps with rent, medical bills, utilities, referrals for job training, adult education, budget counseling and other services.

"There's nothing we haven't done. We fumigated someone's house this month," she said.

"We started C-CAP to minister to the people who fell through the cracks," Roach said. Some don't qualify for services because of income, age or other factors.

"Our whole aim is to help people help themselves," said Roach. She said most just need a little help to get back on their feet.

Through November, C-CAP helped 1,208 families with rent, medical bills and other needs. Loaves and Fishes had aided 2,040 families, a C-CAP report stated.

"It takes more than one person to do anything," Roach said, downplaying her own role.

But it does take people like Joan Roach.

"She always has time for someone else," said the Rev. William Crowe of the Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission.

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