Contact 360 Communities is focused on feeding the hungry and offering basic needs such as clothing. Everything from a thrift store can be accessed for the acquisition of clothing or household goods to free groceries from the pantry. There will also be special holiday meal programs, such as at Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.
The Food Pantry, or Shelf as it is known in Dakota County, can be used to acquire some items that are needed for a healthy meal. It not only allows a client to free up their money for other bills, but the pantry will also allow people to preserve their dignity. This is achieved as it is a client choice center. Also, all the requests for help are treated in confidence and without judgment.
The goal of the Contact 360 Communities Food Pantry is for it be be fully stocked. But this does depend on donations. The contributions do come from many sources, including restaurants in Dakota County, food drives held by volunteers, and retailers such as Wal-Mart. The location helps hundreds of families per year.
In very rare cases, some clients will be given a voucher to use at a local grocery store in Hastings or other towns. This will usually be for some type of extreme emergency, such as a disaster. Or if the family is in some type of major crisis and the pantry does not have what they need, maybe in those cases a voucher from Contact 360 Communities is used too.
Some of what may be provided are as follows. There can be free Canned meat or fish, cooking oil, Helper mixes for prepared meals, baking goods, groceries and more. Special Thanksgiving and Easter food baskets are also offered.
The pantry may also have more non-food type items. This can include paper goods, Household cleaners, soap, Hygiene products, toilet paper, and more. Contact 360 Communities also welcomes additional donations from businesses, individuals, churches, schools, and non-profit organizations.
Christmas programs range from Adopt Family to using an on-site store. No matter which is selected, the goal is to always provide a meal to a family, gift to a child, or visitor to an elderly person.
Adopt-A-Family matches people or businesses who want to give back to a struggling family. There are generous people in Dakota County who want to provide personalized holiday assistance, such as toys or gifts. Adopt-A-Family from Contact 360 Communities allows this to happen.
The donor is given the information on what the family needs. Whether it is clothing, a toy, meal, or something else, the donor can then buy those gives. Most of this support is for children from the region.
A Christmas Toy Store allows lower income parents to provide gifts for their children. It operates during the winter months and it can help celebrate the spirit of the holiday despite the hardships they currently face.
Clients will be able to select mostly new (but some gently used items too) gifts from donations provided to CCA’s Toy Store. Everything they need to wrap the presents, such as boxes and bows, are offered too. Volunteers are always needed to help keep the store running too.
Contact 360 Communities Senior Christmas programs are intended to bring holiday cheer to elderly adults. Whether they live at home or in a care facility, this service can still help. As part of this Contact 360 Communities resource, individuals and companies purchase Christmas gifts from a wish list provided by specific seniors. Or a volunteer will just drop by with a hot meal and a smile to bring them company.
Family Resource Centers are operated by the agency. These locations are where members of the community can turn to for advice and support. There are staff that will listen to the client's needs and then direct them to some form of assistance as needed. The locations are Burnsville Family Resource Center - 501 East Highway 13, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337, dial 952-985-5300 as well as the Rosemount Family Resource Center at 14521 Cimarron Avenue West. Dial 651-322-5113.
The Contact 360 Communities Shop is open to the public. The location offers a wide variety of merchandise for sale. Most of it is gently used, but in rare cases there will be new goods offered. What may be for sale includes shoes, coats, clothing, small appliances, books, jewelry, audio books, toys/games, lamps, dishes, and more.
Similar to the pantry as well, by using the thrift shop it helps people free up their money for other expenses they have. For example, by purchasing furniture from a store at a greatly reduced price, someone starting a new life for themselves will have that much more money available to them for other bills they are faced with.
There are three phone numbers to call for more information, depending on location. They include Eagan (651-452-7288), Hastings (651-437-1291), or Burnsville (952-985-5300).
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