C.A.N. Funds Available, Volunteers Needed

Deanna Bonn
Times-Gazette
C.A.N. volunteers Joy Cushman, left, and Barbara Day, right, sit at the C.A.N. desk located at First Baptist Church in El Dorado.  The hours of operation are Monday-Thursday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

What comes to mind when you hear the word C.A.N.?

The Community Aid Network (C.A.N.) is a ministry to provide financial assistance to residents living in El Dorado, and is supported by the churches in the El Dorado area.

“You never know the situation a person is in,” said Barbara Day, volunteer with C.A.N. “God has provided this to give people a hand up so they can get back on their feet. There’s no judgement. We just want to represent God through this ministry.”

The C.A.N is a network of churches who give funds into a central account that can be distributed to those in need.

“The Ministerial Alliance is the supervising organization,” Day said.

There are a few guidelines established by the Ministerial Alliance. An individual can only receive assistance once within a six month period. This guideline is in place to allow C.A.N. to help as many people as possible.

Funds can be provided for utilities, rent and prescription medications,” said Dorothy Beer, C.A.N. volunteer.

C.A.N. does not give money out to individuals but instead, sends the funds directly to the creditor. Those seeking assistance are asked to bring a copy of the bill they are requesting help with, along with a driver’s license or state ID.

According to volunteer Joy Cushman, the program helped more than 200 families in 2020. 

“The funds are not meant to be utilized on a monthly basis but to help people out when they need it,” said Cushman. “

C.A.N. is located in the First Baptist Church at 315 W. Central, El Dorado. The main entrance is through the church office doors on Washington Street. Visitors need to wear a mask but one will be provided, if needed. The hours are from 12 PM to 2 PM Monday through Thursday.

Volunteers are needed and those interested in volunteering should contact El Dorado First Baptist Church at 316-321-3266.

“Let the office staff know that you are interested in being a volunteer,”  Day said. “And one of us will call you back.”