Ministry Holds Event to End Smoking

Ministry Holds Event to End Smoking
Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry

Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM) announces the “Great American Smokeout,” an event aiming to reduce the use of tobacco products in both Catawba and Alexander County. The event will be held at the Dr. John and Carol de Perczel Whole Life Center (206 1st Ave. SE, Hickory, NC) and Hickory Soup Kitchen on Thursday, November 18, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Whole Life Center (WLC) is a “next step” ministry that journeys with our neighbors to provide pathways from poverty to independence. The WLC provides resources, such as a computer lab, which offers computer literacy tutoring and assistance with NC Works, nutrition and healthy-cooking classes, diabetes-education classes, a diabetes support group, and more. The goal of the WLC is to provide a “wholistic” health approach that focuses on the whole needs of a person to provide a balanced approach to living.

One of the resources provided by the WLC is tobacco and smoking cessation classes. The Great American Smokeout aims to support these classes by offering resources to help our neighbors on their journey to better living. Resource tables with educational materials will be available at GHCCM’s main campus, the Whole Life Center, and the Hickory Soup Kitchen concerning risk factors associated with smoking, cost savings and health benefits associated with quitting, and nicotine replacement therapy options that are available along with free tobacco cessation classes and ongoing support being offered. Carleen Crawford, Regional Tobacco Control Manager with NC Health Region 4, will be available to answer specific questions and provide information about Quitline NC as a resource.

November is also Lung Cancer Awareness Month and National Diabetes Month. Smoking is the most common cause of Lung Cancer. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, killing more Americans per year than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, homicide, suicide, illegal drugs, and fires combined. You may be aware that cigarettes increase a person’s risk of cancer, as well as diseases of the heart, lungs, and other organs, but you might not know that smoking is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Anyone who commits to quit using tobacco products and signs up to join a tobacco cessation class is eligible to participate in the “Turkey Challenge” and get a free cold turkey sandwich at the Hickory Soup Kitchen, courtesy of Austin Pearce, Executive Director.

Resources will also be available concerning prediabetes, diabetes, diabetes self-management education classes, and ongoing support groups. Nursing students from Catawba Valley Community College will be present to hand out information.

As stated by Linda Johnson, GHCCM Health and Wellness Director, “The ministry is appreciative of its community partnerships for making this event possible.” For more information, please call Linda W. Johnson, BSN, RN, CDCES, Director of Health and Wellness at 828-323-7917 or email

GHCCM is open to serve our neighbors in most need who are within the 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. GHCCM is dependent on grants and financial contributions to continue offering the wide range of support to our most vulnerable neighbors. It is the goal of the team from GHCCM to work together to offer stability to those in crisis. For hours of operation, ministry offerings, or to donate, visit GHCCM’s website at For additional information email To volunteer, send your request to