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April 20, 2013

The Sunday Club


For as long as we can remember, Cobbs Allen has insured the 125-year-old South Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In some small way, we have always felt connected to their rich tradition of serving others, especially those in need. One special outreach program truly touched our hearts: The Sunday Club.

In the summer of 1986, the state mental institution was forced to discharge large numbers of persons over a short period of time. Within a few miles of the church there were over eighty licensed private boarding homes: five homes for the intellectually disabled, five homes for the mentally ill operated by the Mental Health Authority, and thirty foster homes licensed by Bryce State Hospital. In addition, there were twenty-three homes for the mentally retarded.

In the licensed private boarding homes there were no standards set by the Health Department concerning food. There were no means available to boarders for securing, storing, or preparing food, and very few available restaurants in the area. Within blocks of the church, one person operated seven homes that, in time, grew to eleven homes. The residents paid $280 of their $336 SSI checks each month for room and board, which did not include lunches or any meals on Sundays or holidays. And thus, The Sunday Club was born.

“The Sunday Club” was started in April, 1987 to address both the need for food on Sunday and the need for a place to go where love, acceptance and fellowship are graciously given. ” Volunteers wear many hats: driving the church van for pick-up and return; acting as team leaders for specific Sundays; lining up, presenting and leading programs; making table favors; donating gifts for special persons; mixing and mingling with the members. Preparing and serving the meals is a special responsibility. Great effort is made to see that the meals served are beyond ordinary in quality and presentation. Volunteers include children, young people, and adults of all ages. Even pre-school children can enjoy putting the salt and pepper shakers on the tables! Volunteers come from South Highland Church and from other churches and civic organizations in the community.

A lot of special people come to The Sunday Club every Sunday. A lot is served up. Good food, good music, good laughter, and good fellowship. We think the greatest thing served up is love.










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