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AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) -
On a quiet Sunday afternoon leaders of the Autauga Interfaith Care Center gathered to celebrate a birthday. It's the care center's 15th year of existence.
Here's a brief history:
In 1998 three churches formed AICC to help people who've been dealt an unexpected blow in life, setbacks against limited or no resources. Today, AICC has the full backing of 40 churches throughout Autauga County.
AICC Director Denise Brown remembers a story that tells her this was meant to be.
"We had a client who had cancer and just really needed help during her treatments. We gave her food until she could get back on her feet again," said Brown.
At AICC you can find clothes, food and books. It's all donated, all of it for the people who need a helping hand. Brown says the agency can help with some financial needs but on a very limited basis.
Martha Marston not only remembers the early days of AICC but day one.
"We had so many people standing outside, and I remember being exhausted because we tried to stay open 5 days a week," said Marston who was the agency's first director.
AICC is primarily run by volunteers.
"It is a wonderful feeling know you've made a difference in someone's life," said Alcyone Mullins, a former volunteer.
15 years later AICC continues to reach out and lift up people like Lynn Mims. We found Mims on this day looking for clothes for the family.
"I am very grateful for the help I've gotten," said Mims.
AICC averages anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 people a year. That number rose to 5,000 during what many say was the 'Great Recession' a few years back.
The agency outgrew two buildings and moved into a larger building in downtown Prattville, clear evidence of a success story but one framed in the perspective of why it grew; Jesus once said the 'poor would always be among us.' The Autauga Interfaith Care Center makes it a point to serve them with care.