Craven County - In a tough economy, Religious Community Services gets hit with a double punch. There are less donations and more mouths to feed.
"We're trying to help as many people as we possibly can," says Director of Operations, Bob Howe, "and that takes money."
But recently, a mystery donor has found a creative way to ease the need; a $10,000 challenge. He's offered to match every dollar the community can raise - up $10,000.
"It's kind of exciting because anyone who wants to donate $100 dollars, they can do that and it feels like $200," said Howe.
"I think it's great because there are a lot of people out there that need help, that really need help," said Lynn, a volunteer at R.C.S.
Lynn donates her time to help the shelter now, but not too long ago, she relied on it.
"I was down at one time and I needed help, and they were here for me," said Lynn.
She's not the only one. On any given day, R.C.S. serves up to 200 meals to those in need. R.C.S is more than just a soup kitchen. It offers anything from furniture to financial services, and it's all for free.
While the staff is more than happy to help, Bob Howe says little things add up.
"Just keeping out doors open is a significant expense. We've got a payroll, and we've got a light bill that's over $4,500 a month."
So with the promise of a big money on the horizon, spirits are high because if the community can meet the challenge of raising $10,000, the resulting $20,000 will pay the bills for the next two and a half months.
The community has until August 3rd to donate towards the match.