MATTHEWS HELP CENTER

Rating: 4.97 stars   33 reviews

Issues: Mental Health

Location: PO Box 91 119 N. Ames St. Matthews NC 28106 USA

Mission: To care for those in the community by providing programs and services that will meet life's basic needs, and by connecting those in need with resources that improve quality of life.
Results: 30 years of progressively growing in our community and caring for those in need.
Target demographics: Anyone experiencing a financial crisis, living within our service area.
Geographic areas served: 5 mile radius around the center, 10 miles into Stallings & Indian Trail, and anyone with a Matthews residential address.
Programs: Back to School Program - school supplies and backpacks for students in the fall Bounceback Back Pack Program - food for hungry kids on the weekends Holiday Adoption Program - pairing families in need with caring donors of holiday gifts Medical Equipment Lending Program - lending medical equipment to people in need
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 58-1408738
704-847-8383
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering at Matthews Help Center for 2 years, and in all of the organizations that I've ever been a part of and volunteered with, I've never felt so honored or so part of a "family" as I do here. All of the volunteers and employees pull together and work hard to ensure that the store looks great and most importantly, the client's needs are met. I'm proud to a part of the Matthews Help Center and will continue to volunteer my time there.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Well, if it were possible I would love to see them have a larger space where they could really spread out, but that is really the only change that I would make to this organization. I think that this organization is very well managed and very well put together.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Thank you for your very kind words! We certainly do appreciate you and every other wonderful volunteer at Matthews HELP Center. Without you and the others, we couldn't do what we do!

Rating: 5 stars  

I began my volunteer partnership in 2008 with the Matthews Help Center. In this case, the HELP is an acronym for help ease local poverty. I was invited by a friend who told me she volunteered there and how much she liked it. I guess you could say she recruited me. I am thankful for her persistence because not only is the Matthews Help Center an outstanding organization for the Matthews community but also because the staff treats their volunteers like royalty. Though not federally funded, the Matthews Help Center is supported by generous people who give contributions as well as from the proceeds of the Backporch Treasures Thrift Shop. As a result, many people are assisted with financial needs including but not limited to payment of rent, utility bills, Christmas gifts for the needy and a whole range of other services. Depending upon the need, clients may be eligible for food from their food pantry and/or clothes from the thrift shop all for FREE. The staff is very congenial and lovely to work with. Though I like to sort the clothing as the donations come in, I'm privileged to provide assistance in whatever is asked of me. The Backporch Treasures Thrift Shop has clothing and housewares for the entire family. The clothes sorters get first dibs (yes, we pay for the merchandise) on the donations and the deals are spectacular. The staff honor the volunteers in several ways in the month of April during National Volunteer month. All in all, volunteering at the Matthews Help Center is a win-win success story. Brandy M.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteering at the Matthews Help Center on Fridays is my favorite day of the week for that very reason. I look forward to spending my day with like minded women who are congenial and thorough in their duties.
I can't begin to tell what a blessing this organization has been to my life and that of my family. Tracy Doyle and Bonita Summers treat their volunteers like kings and queens in their overall demeanor as well as with events to honor us and discount coupons for shopping at the Backporch Treasures Thrift Store. They also encourage us to give suggestions and feedback at various times.
Kim,, their director, sporadically gives us updated reports concerning the number of clients they serve and how our work as volunteers directly impacts their mission. I consider it an honor to be part of such a kind and compassionate group.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The prices of the clothing are totally reasonable and at times incredible. Twice a year they have what is known as a bag sale. At this sale, people are encouraged to fit as many clothes and shoes into a brown paper bag all for the unheard of price of $5.00.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ask that the volunteers not buy gifts for each other for the annual Christmas party. Instead, I think we should donate $5.00 each to the Matthews Help Center.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a volunteer here since 2008 and am repeatedly impressed by the way the Help Center keeps finding new and better ways to serve the community. The thrift shop maintains a high standard of quality merchandise, imaginatively displayed. Plans for future expansion show a continuing commitment to helping the people of Matthews and beyond. Backporch Treasures is a great place to shop and a wonderful place to be a volunteer.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 4 stars  

After moving to Matthews I looked around for a place to volunteer in my new community. I began volunteering in the thrift shop at the Matthews Help Center in 2008 and have found it a wonderful place to work. From sorting donations behind the scenes to working in the thrift shop itself, I feel my donated hours go toward making an important difference for those in need. I can see people being helped each time I am there. I recommend it to my friends as a place to donate and a place to shop.

Recently I've also been able to volunteer at ESL classes held at the Help Center in the evening. Students come from many countries speaking many languages ready to work hard to improve their English-speaking skills. They appreciate this class very much and it is a welcome opportunity for them.

Matthews Help Center gives to our community in so many ways. I'm glad that it exists, is so well-managed and that I can be a small part of it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in getting to know customers and volunteers in the thrift shop.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would make even more information about the details of help given available to the volunteers. Management does a good job with this, but it's always encouraging to hear about all the work that's being done.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Staff makes a huge effort to let volunteers know their work is appreciated. They do this very well.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Connected me to charitable work going on in the place where I live.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

More a part of my community.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Matthews Help Center is a great organization helping 100's of people every year. In todays economy, its also a fantastic place to shop. You can get Brand name clothing for a fraction of the cost of regular retail stores and the selection and quality is remarkable. When I am tired of my clothing then I donate it back to them. Where else can you get a shirt from Lands End or Talbots for $3. and when they have a sale Ive paid as little as $1. for a shirt. Its fun to shop for other things too. They always have alot of books both hardback and paperback, housewares, shoes.purses, and seasonal decorations. When you shop there not only are you getting a great deal but you are also helping the community as well.
Back Porch Treasures, as it is appropriately named, is a large,clean, well lite facility as well as beautifully decorated and laid out so it makes sense. Matthews Help Center is always my first stop to shop when I am looking to add to my wardrobe, looking for something special, or in need of seasonal decorations.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Matthews, NC

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add evening hours one day a week and/or extend the Saturday hours until 3pm.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I have been going to Matthews Help Center for 15 yrs. I absolutely love this little hidden away thrift shop. There are so many great buys and in this days economy its nice to find quality clothing,books and household items at such reasonable prices. Ive gotten my 2 daughters to shop here as well. You cant beat the selection or the price when it comes to childrens clothing especially since they out grow clothes so fast. When they out grow these clothes we just re-donate them back. The volunteers do a bang up job and work very hard to keep up with the changing seasons. Everyone there is so nice and helpful. I go there at least once a week and when people comment on how cute my clothes are I just say.. Matthews Help Center (Back Porch Treasures).

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

when i volunteered my time to answer phones at the front desk, I was amazed at how many people Matthews Help Center saw and helped. From their food pantry, to Meals on Wheels, to financial aid....its amazing what they have done.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

knowing that by purchasing from them they can help others in need.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very friendly and helpful

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

We provide cash donations monthly through our church missions offering. We donate in the monthly 'urgent needs' of food, toiltries and office supplies; and seasonal oppertunities...back to school backpacks and adopt a family for christmas. During spring cleaning we take our gently used clothing, house hold items and toys the children have out grown to the thrift store. By attending events at the MHC I have had oppertunity to speak with staff members and board members. The board, staff and volenteers utilize resouces wisely. I know people that have received assistane from the MHC. By providing food, clothing and house hold items, the parents were able to use thier money for the house payment and remain in thier home.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

meeting my need to be part of the community and assisting others in need. Allows me to know that my money and efforts are being used wisely and efficiently.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

partner with an exsisting organization or facility to provide meals and allow people the oppertunity to cook and serve the meals and provide toiletries. Adopt a neighborhood and make routine visits. My children and I need somewhere to serve and to know what they have and know how blessed they are.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

This is the organization that our church has partnered with to fulfill our vision of local missions.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

The church has someone that coordinates activities with the MHC. I attend church, hear about the urgent needs, backpacks or adopt a family for the holiday. The church coordinator has done all the work and makes it simple for us to go out and purchase the needed items, take them to the chuch to be collected and delivers them to the MHC.

What would you tell others about this organization?

All donations...time, money, food, items...are utilized to maximize the return. Engage the board, staff and volenteers...they want to talk with you.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

Besides having totally enjoyable and fulfilling experiences volunteering once a week, the employees of the Matthews Help Center are top-notch people and dedicated workers. The volume of people served financially, and the volume of food, school supplies and Christmas toys distributed has tripled and quadrupled in the last few years, and the staff has been stretched, yet they have remained steadfast to the mission of helping families in our community. Our thrift boutique is a popular place to shop for clients and the public, donations are constantly coming in, and the sales from the shop have dramatically increased each year recently. The center is making a great impact for the community and the volunteers. I cannot say enough good things about the Matthews Help Center!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

getting to know many like-minded people and working alongside them with a mutual goal of helping those in need.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no changes to suggest.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteer in the Thrift Store...I am so impressed with this organization and the work that it does. The Store is more like a boutique than a thrift shop and people are waiting at the door on Saturday for us to open. I am also impressed with the amt of money the store brings in. The volunteers are truly dedicated to the help this center provides and all share a common goal for the Help Center to be successful. It is the most cheerful place I have ever worked...the volunteers, staff and shoppers always seem happy. I wouldn't change a thing about this experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Every time I work there.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change a thing...this organization should be used as a model around our city and across the country.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Since I graduated high school early and didn't have a job, I decided to volunteer my time. I love shopping at the Matthews Help Center so I decided to volunteer there. I have greatly enjoyed working with the kind staff and other volunteers. I am critical of charities because I only want to give my time and money to those who directly benefit the community. The Matthews Help Center's services are invaluable to the large amount citizens who need their assistance.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my volunteer work.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change nothing!!! The Help Center is an idea local charity.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I love volunteering at the Matthews HELP Center. The staff and volunteers are always so generous and welcoming - it's like a family. We cannot thank our loyal donors enough for their constant support which helps us to provide assistance to our neighbors in need. And our clients are cheerful and appreciative of not only the crisis assistance we provide, but the "treasures" that are available in our thrift boutique at affordable prices for those on a tight budget. My husband and I are so impressed with how efficiently the HELP Center is managed and with all the assistance they are able to provide through creative and effective programs (e.g. backpacks, partnership with the local farmers' market to provide fresh produce for the food pantry, and holiday family adoptions) that it has become our top priority charitable cause to support both financially and with our time.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I started volunteering at the Matthews HELP Center to give back to my community. Ironically, the HELP Center has given things to me that I didn't expect - a sense of belonging, new friends, a better sense of self and the satisfaction of knowing that when my shift is completed each week, I have played a part in helping dozens of clients in need, whether they are on a tight budget and come shopping or whether we make a sale in the store that helps to fund further crisis assistance.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish we could have the resources to serve even more of those in our community who are in need. The demand for assistance grows stronger every day.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Keep getting the word out about themselves and recruit even more terrific volunteers and partnerships.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I made new friends and learned more about the needs of my community.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Very positive - I feel more aware of my community than I have ever felt.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I been at the Matthews Help Center for over 20 years. As times change so has the Matthews Help Center. The MHC serves more clients everyyear and is always innovative with new ways to serve in the community. What started as a way to raise money to assist local persons in need is now a bundle of services. Example: In the beginning it was Meals on Wheels-now School Back Packs have been added to help feed children in need over the weekend. I stay volunteering because I see the staff being prudent with funds but not stingy with those in need. Everyone is willing to go an extra mile to find the appropriate assistance for the clients that continue to come through the door.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When I see clients handles in a professional and respectful manner.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find younger volunteers.

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Review from Guidestar