The folks at HEARTS of Cleburne empathize with the pain of those they serve.
It’s the empathy that fuels action toward the lofty mission statement of having “a single goal at HEARTS of Cleburne: To make the world a better place for all.”
HEARTS is an acronym for Helping Every Area Resident to Succeed, and while HEARTS of Cleburne may have massive goals, the Alabama nonprofit in the eastern part of the state is making that difference.
This is accomplished by HEARTS of Cleburne Executive Director Robi Mobley and her staff.
“Our community is Cleburne County, which is halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta,” Mobley said. “The type of clientele we have are those who are hurting, be that from loss of a job or income, or being shut in and not able to get out. Our mission is to help people with short-term needs reach long-term success. So we are trying to get them through that hump.”
The pandemic has affected the work of Mobley and her staff.
“Since the COVID-19 health crisis, our food distribution has tripled and so have requests for rent assistance and utilities,” Mobley said. “Our back to school has also been affected. One-third of the students will be virtual, and we are supplying students with COVID-19 bags filled with masks, hand sanitizers, sanitary wipes and other supplies to help with the crisis.”
Mobley depends on grants and donations to help with expenses. One of the nonprofit organization’s supporters is the Alabama Power Foundation.
“This year we received a $1,500 COVID-19 grant from the Alabama Power Foundation,” Mobley said. “Last year we received a $500 grant for school supplies. And we are applying later for the Elevate Grant, which will help us with all of the COVID-19 adjustments we are taking this fall, including providing internet access to those without. We are very thankful for the Alabama Power Foundation.”
HEARTS of Cleburne serves about 500 households in two primary locations, which totals 1,500 to 1,800 people every month. The organization serves five schools in Cleburne County.
“A lot of our clients are going through really tough situations right now with the COVID-19 crisis and other challenges. We support single moms with five kids trying to make ends meet with back to school and COVID-19 going on,” Mobley said.
All this work is special to the team.
“It touches my heart when we get to know these people. When they come in they aren’t just clients, but they become friends. They depend on us. A lot of these people are elderly folks who live on a fixed income and who don’t have a support system to lean on. We become that support system for them,” Mobley said. “They come in and tell their stories. They cry and we cry with them.”
For more information, visit www.heartsofcleburne.com.
Alabama Bright Lights captures the stories, through words, pictures and video, of some of our state’s brightest lights who are working to make Alabama an even better place to live, work and play. Award-winning journalist Karim Shamsi-Basha tells their inspiring stories. Email him comments, as well as suggestions on people to profile, at [email protected].