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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Real Life Center Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services

Mission: Our mission is to walk with those who are hurting in Fayette and Coweta counties by providing a safe environment, sharing the love of Christ, and promoting long-term change. This is accomplished through an innovative process of holistic care including a strategy of caring for each person physically, emotionally, relationally, financially, mentally and spiritually.

Target demographics: those going through the unexpected hard times of life.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 6664 families visit the center, additional 200 families per month through our mobile food pantry

Geographic areas served: Fayette/Coweta County

Programs: food, clothing, financial assistance & budgeting, educational classes, fresh produce, networking and referrals, career help

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Thomas Kelley K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've have been so blessed by working at Real Life! Everyone from volunteers to people donating food and/or clothing, this is a positive way to meet the needs of individuals who are facing difficult times. I've always loved the motto "a hand up, not a hand out". A hand up is more personal and I think that is what people need! I love being the "hands and feet of Jesus".

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the passion of the people here! Staff and volunteers are so caring and compassionate. They are careful to give clients dignity and respect while giving a hand up, not a hand out. Plus they are super organized! Another great aspect of the Real Life Center is that they cover all aspects of life help...physical, spiritual, financial, education, etc.

Lori O.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Truly an amazing organization. The concept of giving people a hand up rather than a hand-out is so empowering. You can feel an abundance of love and compassion as you step through the doors; you can hear the sighs of relief as folks come in. Everyone is treated with respect, no matter their circumstances. As a volunteer, I wonder sometimes who benefits more from this atmosphere, me or the clients. I’ve walked a road similar to some of the clients; and wish this had been available to me at the time. The Real Life Center also gives me the opportunity to share my walk, and help others realize, there is light at the end of the tunnel. God is the light, and at the Real Life Center, we are able to share God’s love to all in need and help them along their arduous journey.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined RLC almost 6 years ago as a volunteer and have helped out in several areas with food management in the warehouse. RLC has a wonderful staff full of wit, wisdom, and compassion and they do their utmost to be of service to those in local communities who need help procuring the necessities of life during personal hard times. I thank God every day for the opportunity to work with them, especially now with the country in chaos. What a blessed team!

Anne Q.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I chose to volunteer at the Real Life Center because it has a model of support that works. I counsel and coach clients who are in need of support usually because they have lost their jobs especially now during the pandemic or they are unable to work because of serious health issues. I do an assessment of their need, look at their short- and long-term ability to become financially stable, suggest resources and methods to decrease expenses where possible and increase income. The model also includes enrollment in a one year program of on-going support through food, clothing, self-improvement classes, and once/quarter follow-up calls to check in with each client. My favorite part of the model is goal setting. We partner with each client to set a one year goal and to identify specific steps they wish to commit, to reach their goal. And, we are a faith-based organization, so we also provide spiritual support as needed during the session and continuing prayer. We track the successes of our clients in terms of reaching their goals, and historically it has been above 80%. God is using the Real Life Center in our community in powerful, sustainable ways.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The RLC does an outstanding job of serving the public. They have a first rate organization that is very organized and efficient. They make a real difference in people's lives both physically and spiritually.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have served as both a volunteer and staff member at Real Life Center since March of 2008. I have seen men, women, and children walk through the door desperate for help and without hope. They always leave encouraged and so thankful for the kind words, physical help and support and care they receive from staff and volunteers who serve at the center. Real Life Center cares for neighbors in our community who need a hand up. Their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are addressed. Clients develop wonderful relationships with the volunteers and staff that serve at the Real Life Center and know it is a safe place to come for assistance, information, or just a kind word of encouragement.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the incredible blessing of being the Client Care Coordinator at the Real Life Center for almost 7 years. I saw many come through the front door so beaten down by life circumstances. They would leave full of hope after experiencing the grace, mercy and love of the many Godly volunteers and staff that they would come in contact with while at the center. They were never treated as "less than" but always with honor and respect. The Real Life Center meets physical, emotional and spiritual needs. They are the hands and feet of Jesus! I still volunteer with them whenever I can because the Real Life Center has a piece of my heart!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering when pandemic began.
I am retired Delta employee of 35 years.
The people who both work and volunteer are incredibly dedicated to both church and community.
I look forward to volunteering !!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first experience was to donate clothes to the RLC at their thrift shop over 20 years ago. Then, I helped move their large facility to a new home in Peachtree City about 8 years ago. Finally, about 6 years ago, I volunteered to help serve clients in their food bank, where I have been ever since.

Each week that I serve and pray with clients, another scale falls off my eyes and my heart is softened to His truth of our universal brotherhood as adopted children to our mighty Lord. How these groceries, clothes, and rent subsidies are just His gifts that serve both client and volunteer to grow us in unity and appreciation of Him.

Deborah Hardee B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Until the pandemic started, I was a regular volunteer at the RLC (Real Life Center). I was - and am - proud to be associated with the RLC. People from all over our community (not just from one church) contribute their time, effort and resources to this center, providing food, clothing and counseling to those in our community who are in need of a helping hand. Their gratitude is always evident and I thank God for inspiring the generosity and selflessness that makes the RLC possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the Real Life Center on a regular basis. What I find unique about this faith-based organization is that we help our clients, but not just with food. We offer assistance with finances, emotional health, relational well-being, among other support.

What differentiates the Real Life Center is the true dedication to reaching people from a faith-based perspective. If we can make an impact in their spiritual life, from a long-term perspective, real change can take place.

I have been able to pray and minister with clients and see the joy on their face due to addressing their spiritual concerns. The staff has a firm belief in what we do based on each of the staff and volunteers having a deep spiritual faith.

Our clients tell us over and over again what an impact we are making in their life.

Jenni T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I get to see behind the scenes of what goes on at The Real Life Center. The men and women on staff work tirelessly, every day, to make sure they are doing the most good they can for the community. Their mission and strategy is what drew me to volunteer there. They offer “A hand-up”, working with their clients to make sure ALL of their needs are met, on a longer-term basis, not just giving the client a one-time hand out”. This not only guarantees a better success rate for the clients they see, but also allows the client to do their part in taking control of their own lives, knowing they have Someone who has their back. They truly want their clients to be successful and do it all in the name of Jesus. I feel truly blessed to volunteer here, with this compassionate and dedicated staff. It has been truly humbling for me as well, to meet the clients from all different walks of life, all enduring a hardship; to pray with them, for them; to meet their family and kids. To listen to their stories, to cry with them, laugh with them, or even to just listen and give them a safe, secure place to speak. Ever time I leave, I feel the closest to My Creator and that He was speaking directly to me through these resilient people. I can’t say enough about this wonderful organization, their staff and the other volunteers i have met.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve seen people in our community needing to feed their families being able to get food without being bogged down in bureaucratic procedures. RLC has prevented many people from going hungry.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with Real Life Center & I can tell you that this organization provides a service to the community that is of utmost importance and the staff is so humble and happy to be able to do this. All of the clients are so appreciative. Some even to the point of tears. I thank God for Real Life Center & the Christian hearts within them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the mission of the Real Life Center and our ability to partner with the local body of Christ to meet physical, spiritual, financial and emotional needs of our hurting neighbors in Fayette and Coweta counties. My days serving here are my favorite two days of the week! I leave feeling blessed and am so thankful for the relationships I have made here.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at The Real Life Center since my family moved here from New York in January of 2015. From the first moment I walked into The Real Life Center I knew I was in the presence of something special. It was a true fellowship; where "a leg up instead of a handout" was offered. Food, clothing, household assistance, classes, prayers, and hugs; all offered by the volunteers to our clients with smiles, compassion and respect.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Real Life Center reaches out to those who have fallen on hard times in ways that answer the question: "What would Jesus do?" As a previous volunteer, I have seen it in action!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center is a unique nonprofit that does an excellent job of giving a hand up to those in need. They not only provide food, clothing, and financial assistance when needed, but help their clients create their own individual plan to improve their response to their challenging circumstances. Counselors guide the clients into making a one-year plan to improve their life. There are many resources offered to help clients land appropriate jobs, such as resume' writing, etc. As a previous volunteer, I witnessed other volunteers treating the clients with the dignity they deserve and truly helping them. They help with the whole person, addressing physical, mental and spiritual needs. This is a top-notch organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have seen many organizations that help with food or clothing, but the wrap-around services that the Real Life Center provides really moves people from dependency to independence. People who come to the Real Life Center in crisis are helped to transition to stability. The respect shown each individual whether staff, volunteer or client is what sets this service apart from so many others.

SuAnne Kuykendall E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Real Life Center for 2 years. The staff here truly cares about the community and their clients. They offer classes and counseling services in all areas of life to help an individual get back on their feet. During this pandemic, they have gone above and beyond providing food and necessities to anyone in need, no questions asked! I'm proud to represent this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center provides genuine, loving assistance to under- resourced people in Fayette and Coweta Counties. Food, clothing, and even counseling is available to hundreds of people each week.
I have been honored to serve in their clothing ministry and have witnessed the respectful,
loving manner in which staff and volunteers seek to meet the needs of our hurting fellow citizens.

Craig E.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I volunteer at this non-profit. They are a first-class organization providing food and clothing to the surrounding community. It's an honor to serve along side them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The real life center has the most caring and thoughtful workers. They really care about the status of your family and how you can succeed in improving your life. They are like a family and help in so many ways with their fresh vegetables and fruit from their gardens and their bread and food from local businesses and food drives. They give out school supplies and special items at Christmas and Thanksgiving. They encourage and love each person they serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center in Peachtree City, Georgia, helps so may people who are in need of food, clothing, prayer and fellowship. It brings so much joy to my heart to be able to help families and get to know our clients. It is run by self-less, giving, loving people and our clients are almost like family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Caring people wanting to help people improve their life with many forms of assistance. Even in the pandemic we served over 100 families.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center was already a lifeline in the community....then COVID hit. The RLC quickly set up new procedures so that we could continue to serve the community without exposing our clients and volunteers. We quickly moved from feeding 150 families over 5 days to over 300 in 3 3 hour shifts. The people we see each week are SO grateful for the support they receive and we are daily reminded of how fortunate we are to be able to help others in their greatest need - without judgement - and with LOTS of love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am privileged to have been able to volunteer for the Real Life Center for several years. I am so impressed with how caring everyone there is to help clients improve their situation and in the mean time to help their present needs with food, clothing, counseling, and some help with bills if needed. They even have a orchard/garden on campus so that clients are supplied with healthy fresh food. Unfortunately the pandemic has kept some of their programs paused, but in the mean time they are still making sure clients can come by to have food safely put into their trunks. This center is such a great blessing to our community!

Holly B.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at The Real Life Center for years and can see the sincerity and caring close-up. They truly care about the whole person from their spiritual and financial needs to building a path to a better future.

Diana B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Real Life Center helps people during times of hardship and sets them on a path to self sufficiency. The goal is to provide more help than just food or financial support. The clients at Real Life have a support system that is there for them. They can get help with financial planning, emotional and spiritual support. The volunteers treat each person with a sincere and caring approach that makes the client feel comfortable when they come in. Cooking classes show how to use the food items and turn this into a nutritious family meal. I have volunteered for over four years and enjoy seeing the progress clients have made. Each success story shows how valuable this organization is to Fayette and Coweta counties.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Real Life Center for the past four years and have seen the help they are to our community. Lives have been changed with their classes, food and clothing programs, and loving staff. Times are different now but they have adapted and are continuing helping so many with their food distribution program. They are truly an exceptional organization.

David F.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center is a valuable organization in the community helping to provide a hand up for families in need. The programs in place (education, financial assistance, food and clothing) all help to bridge gaps for these families. The staff here is fantastic and love each one of the clients and look to help those become successful in their daily lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center staff & volunteers provide warm, compassionate food, clothing & counseling support for those in need. Not only do clients get to select groceries & clothes, the Real Life Center has a large orchard that produces fresh blueberries, blackberries, peaches & grapes.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Real Life Center for several years as a volunteer and more recently a board member. The Real Life Center differs from many organizations that help people in need in the way we try to build relationships with those we serve. We try to offer not only physical needs but hope to those who might be in a hopeless situation. As I serve people who God brings to the center, I want them to understand that we all need help sometimes and try to treat them as I would like to be treated. It is a blessing to get to know them and share their burdens and successes. One of the couples I met with as an assessment counselor were struggling to provide for their large family, The wife worked in the school cafeteria for low wages and the husband was trying to get a job as a teacher, but was only able to find work as a substitute teacher. We were all praying that God would help him find work full time teaching. Our prayers were answered and he got a teaching job!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I landed in the grips of homelessness at the end of 2015. There was no love, no family, no warm food or shelter, no one to turn to for help. Instead, there was lots of darkness, closed doors in my face, isolation, lonely dark roads, and cold nights. Lack of resources from most non-profits and the local area was a major factor in me not receiving the help I needed in order to get back on my feet. In 2018, I finally found a place I called 'Hope ' the Real Life Center. I found a friend, Çathy J. Berggren. I had lived in hidden homelessness so long until I suffered 4 pulmonary embolisms. Cathy Berggren and the Real Life Center immediately assisted me and placed me in a year-long program that consisted of setting 3 goals, food, and clothing. My goals were to find a place to call home, join a church, and meet great friends. Cathy further helped me find temporary shelter during the Fall of 2018. Cathy, also help me with transportation to surgery for my back which I injured from sleeping in my car, and someone to stay by my side. The Real Center and Cathy have helped me when no one else would. I now have a place I call home since January 2019 in Newnan, GA. Cathy is giving 'Hope' to an unserved population in Peachtree City and greater Fayette County. Without Cathy Berggren and the Real Life Center, I would not be here to tell this story. Now I have a family that truly loves me at the Real Life Center. I have a new church home Dogwood.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center provides comprehensive care for individuals and families in crisis in Fayette and Coweta Counties. This is why I have supported the Real Life Center with my time and contributions for 20 years. This ministry takes the long look and walks alongside people for at least a year - giving them "A Hand Up- not a Hand Out" - and helping people get back on their feet. Care for the physical, relational, emotional, vocational, and spiritual needs of people are provided. Real Help and Real Hope is more than a slogan here. It really happens for many, many people!

Donor

Rating: 5

Mission driven, servant heart, community focused organization that makes a difference.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a professional in the social service field, I have referred people to the Real Life Center for services and resources as well as stopped by to pick up items for persons in need. The staff is highly qualified and always helpful. This is a very professional and well-run organization and provides vital services to the community. They are also excellent stewards of all financial and in-kind resources. I highly recommend the Real Life Center to community stakeholders and investors.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center does an amazing job of helping people with their immediate needs and teaching them how to help themselves to change the circumstances that brought them to the Real Life Center. The volunteers are loving, caring individuals who generously give their time and resources to support the mission of the Real Life Center because they have seen the impact the center has on people in our area who need help. The staff members are caring and compassionate people who seize every opportunity to reach out and help those in need in our community. It has been my privilege to serve in various ways at the Real Life Center and I plan to continue to serve alongside the faithful and loving staff members and volunteers for many years to come!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked in Nonprofit Management for over 20 years in Atlanta and also spent two years evaluating nonprofits for major donors. The Real Life Center is in a category by itself! Not only do they make a real difference in people's lives, but they also handle everything in a systematic and professional manner. Other church-based organizations I tried to help with just pass out food and clothes. The Real Life Center helps people as clients and assists them to make a plan with progress, not just handouts. I personally help with client resumes and resume/job classes. I am a small donor and hope to do more. I also help collect and pick up Christmas Gifts, especially for the teenagers.
In such as an affluent area as Fayette and Coweta Counties, the Real Life Center is such a blessing to people in crisis to have somewhere to turn. Many of them were affluent and embarrassed to be in need, and they are treated as clients in such a respectful way!
You could not support a better organization.

Jeff K.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been blessed to be able to volunteer at this wonderful asset to the community. The staff is amazing and they are always very accommodating to the volunteers!

Teri M.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Real Life Center is a wonderful example of a non-profit done right. They serve the community in many capacities not limited to food and clothing donations. They also follow families to make sure that they are going to be ok. They are very good stewards of donations and have a volunteer staff that is eager and enthusiastic. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is good to know that The Real Life Center is there for families.

JustDoRight

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing place the Real Life Center is!! The Executive Director, staff, and volunteers have such amazing love for the hurting clients that come through their doors. It is an honor to serve with this organization.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started working at the Real Life Center in 2011 as an assistant to the Executive Director. I have sense expanded my role into a Project Manager over seeing all of the IT projects at the center as well as making sure the Executive Director is kept happy and does not have to worry about Admin stuff.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is one of the best that I have been involved with. They have many different ministries within the organization and are associated with a church, but do not require the people they help to be Christians. They have a clothes closet, a food pantry, a bread ministry, financial counselors, financial assistance, and even more. They also have a thrift store to help increase their budget. All of the staff and volunteers go out of their way to help, and if there is nothing they can do, they are great with referrals and very involved with other nonprofits in the community.