CUMAC's Community Closet is helping to improve the lives of those in need. Photo provided

CUMAC Community Closet a Sanctuary for Tough Times

June 5, 2017 | | GNJ News

PATERSON – -Despite working full-time, Angela has been a regular at CUMAC in Paterson for a few years. Despite working full time, she often finds herself struggling to make ends meet and keep food on the table for her and her son.

CUMAC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to feeding people and changing lives has worked to alleviate hunger and its root causes for those in need in Paterson, Passaic County, and Northern New Jersey for over 30 years. The organization’s Community Closet also has clothing and houseware for those on a tight budget.

When Angela recently received a phone call that her father, “Papi” had suffered a massive heart attack,  she knew exactly where to go for assistance in help.

For Angela, the entire event came as a huge shock. At just 51-years-old, Papi had always been a picture of health.  “He was healthy all the time, and he was always there for us,” she said. After the heart attack, Papi was rushed to the hospital needing immediate surgery. The surgery left him weak and unable to use his right arm.

“His heart stopped twice in the hospital. They saved him,” Angela said. “I have to thank God.”

After months of therapy and recovery, Papi finally came home. However, he was too weak to work, and his family worried about his extra medical expenses. Using CUMAC’s disaster relief services, Angela was able to leave CUMAC with a shower chair, a cane, a walker, a special pillow that accommodates new medical needs, and many other items to make her father’s recovery as comfortable as possible. Her family says those items would have been too expensive in stores, much more than they would have ever been able to afford.

Although Papi has a long road ahead, he continues to be in good spirits. Since coming home he’s needed another surgery, but he’s currently in rehabilitation and Angela and family are thrilled to see him progressing every week. With his new supplies, he has the support he needs to be more independent, and the family is thankful.

Every time Angela comes to visit CUMAC’s Community Closet she’s greeted with a big hug. As she and her family continue to tackle challenges, the CUMAC team is ready to lend a helping hand or a listening ear.

“CUMAC is a blessing to a lot of people in need,” said Angela. “I’m grateful for all the people who work here, helping people.”

For more information and to volunteer or donate to help CUMAC make stories like Angela’s possible, please visit