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Our Opinion: Down but not out

June 08, 2001

Overcomers in Christ Ministries has operated the Brawley Thrift Store at Ninth and G streets for five years. Through the store's profits, the church has provided food to around 100 families a week.

On Sunday the Overcomers' store was overcome by fire, wiping out the stock and doing damage to the church's ability to serve the needy of the Northend.

While no evil forces conspired to shut down the Brawley Thrift Store's operations — Brawley firefighters think the blaze was sparked by an electrical problem in the building's attic — it doesn't make the devastation any easier to take.

Still, those at Overcomers of Christ are standing firm in the face of such a disaster. The Rev. Raymond Arroyo of Overcomers has said the church's massive weekly food distribution to the needy will continue. Only days after the fire volunteers were at the Ninth and G location of the burned-out building, handing out whatever food there was available.


"Down but not out" was Arroyo's message to the community. But the fact remains the church needs help to do its duty, a noble duty if there ever was one.

We support Overcomers in Christ Ministries' mission to serve the needy. Religious views aside, helping your fellow man is just something that needs to be done and is essential to the unity and strength of a community. We encourage those with the means necessary to help the church to help others.

We know the residents of Imperial County are a caring bunch. When The Salvation Army Thrift Store in downtown El Centro was lost to fire in December, the community came together and cleaned out closets of secondhand goods so the Army could continue its efforts to provide families and children of the county with Christmas toys and much-needed clothing and food.

Like Arroyo's statements that his church would persevere and continue to help the less fortunate, so did The Salvation Army.

That said, congratulations are in order for the folks at The Salvation Army, the city of El Centro and the Valley Plaza Shopping Center for finding the new albeit temporar location for the Army's thrift store.

We hope the community will flock to the grand reopening of the thrift store today in its new location in Valley Plaza. Now taking up the huge floorspace once occupied by Woolworth's, the Army is in a great location and already has a healthy stock of secondhand items for sale, the profits of which will fund future endeavors by the Army for the Valley's needy.

We'd also like to say "job well done" to El Centro City Manager Abdel Salem, who was credited with helping the Army's advisory board find the Valley Plaza location.

In the heat of an Imperial Valley summer, where tempers often flare and run short as temperatures rise to miserable levels, it's easy to forget those who struggle on a daily basis to feed and clothe their families and themselves. While some of us complain about the heat and ask why our air conditioners aren't cooling properly, organizations such as Overcomers in Christ Ministries and The Salvation Army are working to help those in our community who can't even afford electricity to power a fan let alone buy a pair of shoes or a loaf of bread.

Let's help Overcomers in Christ Ministries' efforts to feed the needy, just as we did with The Salvation Army.

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