Why We Do What We Do
In Ed’s words…
“There is nothing like having been there. I grew up one of five children to very young parents when at times, there wasn’t enough. The son of a carpenter, my first job was as custodian of the school I attended. Perseverance and faith paid off with a career in textiles that taught me the importance of doing the small things well and the value of people.
I learned from my experience that the real world is made up of real people who face real problems; and that real solutions don’t come easy...but they do come if you choose the right path and pursue it.
My success in textiles was built upon helping other people succeed. As a manager, when those in my areas of responsibility succeeded, I succeeded. It was a natural progression to crisis assistance after the mill closed in our community; helping people persevere, charting a path to overcome life’s setbacks and celebrating with them when they succeed.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that God has placed me serving those who are struggling to establish life’s most basic needs: food, shelter and relationships. These, in addition to faith, are the foundations upon which lives are built and futures take shape. Why would I think God has prepared me for anything other than this?” See Romans 5:1-5
The Back Story:
Ed grew up in Miami (Carol City), Florida and finished high school in Hendersonville, NC. It was there he met Judy, the love of his life, before attending Western Carolina University. The two were married right after college and began a career in textiles.
Ed’s textile career eventually led him to Cannon Mills in Kannapolis, then Fieldcrest Cannon and Pillowtex, where he became General Manager of Manufacturing and Operations for the Bedding Division. After the mill closed in 2003, Ed and Judy started serving the unemployed of Cabarrus and Rowan County, with a desire to be a part of the solution.
In 2005, Ed accepted the invitation to serve as Executive Director of Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM). In the years that followed, CCM grew in response to the needs of the local community and has established itself as a vital resource for the people of Cabarrus and southern Rowan counties.
“Why I Do What I Do”
Mike Wojciechowski - Crisis Center Director
Losing a job you’ve had for almost 30 years brings you face to face with the stark reality of having to start over. I’ve been there. But God has blessed me with the opportunity to use that experience to better understand what so many of our clients are facing when they come through our doors at CCM.
Roxanna Claiborne, Crisis Assistance Program Manager
There are people in crisis who feel alone and do not know where to turn for help. I want to help that person realize that they are not alone and that we are here to help them.
Barry Porter, Food Program Manager
I know that my God-given talents are being used to help people in our community – a community that has given so much to my family in many ways over the years. I have met so many wonderful people through this ministry that I would not have had the opportunity to had it not been for CCM.
Sam Merchak, Case Manager
I meet amazing people with amazing stories and every day I find out how incredible it is to work with others who love the Lord and care deeply about their work. I am blessed to have the chance to go home each night and share stories about the work that CCM is doing, with my friends and loved ones; educating them about the magnitude of the issues our residents face.
Pam Smith, Director of Program Services
My passion and love for all people and society compels me to give voice to those that are underserved/ unheard/disenfranchised by advocating for policies and creating programs needed to build strong families and communities. I enjoy teaching the skills that empower families to function in their environment and to have the best quality of life possible.