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 arrival. To help Soteria CDC meet these needs (particularly after the devastating fire they recently experienced), our church will be collecting the following items for “First Day Kits” throughout the month of August:

• Bibles

• Toothpaste

• Dental floss

• Men’s deodorant

• Men’s socks

• Washcloths

If you wish to donate any of the supplies listed above, please bring them to the church Reception Area any time throughout the month on Monday–Friday (9am-5pm) or any Sunday morning in August.

Please contact Jennifer Craig ( with any questions.

—Kate Anderson, Missions & Affiliations Committee

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