CORA Client Stories

Jessica wants to be a teacher. In her work as a school bus driver, she says she sees too many children falling through the cracks and just wants to help these kids get a better start on life. She is now studying for her Associate's Degree and hopes to go to UNCG to finish college and get her teaching certificate. In the meantime, CORA is helping her to stretch her income as a school bus driver to meet the needs of her family of three including two school-age children who are enrolled in CORA’s SNACK! program. Update: After trying to make a go of things in another state, Jessica is back in Chatham County, is gainfully employed and has not had to visit the pantry in more than six months. She would still like to finish her Bachelor’s Degree but, for now, she is happy to be able to support her family.

Genita was a recovering drug addict who had been clean for 2 years. She was jailed for 44 months for her drug use. She could not find a job, as few businesses are willing to hire an ex-felon. She was trying to get by on odd jobs such as yard work. She says that without the help of CORA and other agencies, she would be “out on the streets with no food.”

She was the mother of a 20-year-old daughter and the grandmother of a 2-year-old. When her daughter got pregnant, she told her mother that she could not see her grandson unless she straightened up. Genita wanted more than anything to be a person that her grandson would be proud of. CORA is helped her be that person. Genita has not had to return to CORA in more than 4 years.

One day at the pantry Dick Kahler, a CORA "stocker," responded to the ringing of the back door bell, where food donations are brought to CORA. A young woman was there with bags of groceries to donate to CORA. As is always the case, the donation was weighed and recorded and Dick asked the woman if she would like a receipt for her gift. She responded: "no … I'm just so glad I can make a contribution … only a few months ago I was a recipient of CORA's support and generosity and this donation is the least I can do to say 'thank you' and show my appreciation for CORA's support when I needed it …"

Chandra came to CORA for food assistance after a succession of misfortunes lasting several months. Living with a medical disability on a meager monthly social security check, she and her two teenaged sons were burnt out of her rental house in mid-January of that year. Her sons were able to move in with relatives. With only a few items of clothing left, Chandra lived in motels for several weeks with the support of local churches. Other providers helped with vouchers for clothing and a small amount of food at a local grocer. Then she had to sell her only remaining asset, her aging car, for just $100 to get just enough for a few more nights in a motel. That’s when she came to CORA. She told us that she had just enough to move into a nearby apartment, but she had nothing to eat. Moreover, she had no furniture and was sleeping on the floor with only a blanket. Not only was CORA able to help with a generous supply of groceries, CORA volunteers mobilized to help find donations of dishes and kitchenware, a table and chairs, and other household goods. Just this week Chandra proudly told us that she was to start a new job the next day and also that she was going to take the assessment test for her GED in the coming weeks.

“Thank you CORA for being my new friends. Your help has meant so much.”

-- Chandra Feggins

Brionca is Jessica’s daughter in this photo with her daughter (Jessica’s granddaughter) Ja’maraya. She completed courses at CCCC to be a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA). Brionca has a job and her own apartment. Her dream is to work with babies either in delivery or in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).

Both Jessica and her daughter want to thank CORA volunteers who give so much time and are so helpful, and the contributors to CORA who make it possible for us to help so many people.

When he came to CORA, there were few really good days for Jackie of Siler City. He could still smile, and his handshake was firm, but inside was a mountain of worry. Adversity began some years ago when he lost four fingers of his left hand in an accident. On another day his marriage dissolved and another day brought the bad news that a son had kidney disease.

Then, he lost his job after 25 years as a fork lift operator. He was unable to find work.

“I’m a fighter, always have been,” he said. “You do what you have to do to survive. But there are no jobs anywhere,” he says. “Everything’s just gone.”

Mr. Green called upon CORA for emergency food to help feed himself and two sons living at home. The younger son was on dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant.

“CORA has made a big difference to me,” he says. “I have kids to care for, and CORA makes that possible.”

Jackie Green has not had to visit CORA in more than five years.