After incarceration, many are left with no means to truly start fresh and pursue a successful path for themselves and their families. This realization was experienced personally by Jerry Blassingame, founder of Soteria Community Development Corporation (, who was himself released from prison in 1999. After encountering numerous obstacles to starting anew after his freedom was regained, Jerry saw firsthand many of the unmet needs of those like him. Therefore, to give formerly-incarcerated men their best chance at successfully transitioning back into society, he founded Soteria CDC. Though this organization started small, it has blossomed into an immense resource for those trying to restart their lives, offering such services as job training, financial literacy and planning, affordable housing opportunities, and coaching on how to set successful goals for themselves moving forward.

Many of the men who participate in this program come to Soteria straight from prison and have literally nothing to their name upon arriving. To help Soteria CDC meet their needs, our church will be collecting the following items for “First Day Kits” throughout the month of April:

Dental floss
Men’s deodorant
Men’s socks

Please choose one of the following options to donate:

1) Bring these items to the church Reception Area any time throughout the month on Monday–Friday, 9am-5pm, or any Sunday morning in April that we are reconvening as a church congregation (currently planned to occur on April 18 and 25).

2) Find these items online and have them shipped here:
First Baptist Greenville
c/o Amy Joye
847 Cleveland Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Please contact Laura Stout ( with any questions.

—Kate Anderson, Missions Committee

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