ROBESON CO. NC - With Christmas and winter here, hope for the displaced comes in many forms from coats and gift-cards to hugs and prayers. Hundreds are still displaced following the flooding by Hurricane Matthew and many of you across the nation helped us make this possibility a reality just in time for Christmas.
This week we had the previlege of deliverying a truck load of winter gear and gift cards, thanks to many.
You include individuals and groups from: California, Utah, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and Virginia. Others who also supported with monetary and clothing donations include: Clarke County Virginia’s: Crums United Methodist Church, Clarke County American Legion Auxiliary, Clarke County American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War; Fredrick County Virginia’s Fairview United Methodist Church; and internationally: Humanity Healing International, Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, The Human Accelerator and Sanctuary on the Trail (Native American Church of Virginia). (MORE WHO GAVE FORWARD)
The Native American Indian Church of Virginia, co-founded by Lumbee native René Locklear White, second from left, and her husband, Cherokee Chris White, left, donated of gift cards for 75 students in the Lumberton High School Adopt-A-Pirate program affected by Hurricane Matthew. Accepting the gifts on behalf of students are Adrian Hammonds, school counselor, and Savon Maultsby, assistant principal. Each gift bag contained a $30 Walmart gift card and a $10 Chick-Fillet gift card. The church also delivered a truckload of coats and other winter gear which were taken to Robeson County Church and Community Center.
Funds you donated went to purchase $3,000 in Christmas gift cards for 75 displaced students and their families at Lumberton High School and winter clothing to Robeson County Church & Community Center for distribution.
$3,000 in GIFT CARDS Thanks to René's neice Amelia J. Pearson for recommending this high school. Amelia has volunteered relentlessly helping the flood victims and is familiar with the hardest hit areas. “We have been collecting and fundraising for you since the flooding began,” said René who is also a retired military veteran and graduate from Lumberton’s Magnolia High School class of 1983 and UNC Pembroke 1988 and 1989. “We want the people of Robeson County to know that they are not forgotten and we have your back here in Virginia and across the nation.”
TRUCK LOAD OF WINTER CLOTHING The Sanctuary on the Trail™ non-profit team of volunteers collected and delivered new and gently used designer and vintage: 104 winter coats (long, short, leather, wool and quilted coats), 88 sweaters, 59 pairs of pants, jeans and shorts (all sizes boys, girls, ladies and men’s), 70 boy’s shirts, 29 ladies skirts and dresses, 74 ladies blouses, 38 knitted scarves and 20 knitted hats, 9 men’s sweaters, 28 pairs of gloves & mittens, 6 blankets, and miscellaneous hand towels, tights, socks, ear muffs, watch, pillows, pajamas, sweat suit men’s and ladies shoes, sheets, T-shirts and more. “For the clothing and things, we picked Robeson County Church & Community Center” because they are the oldest and largest non-profit around and because we believe Robeson County Church & Community Center is Robeson County’s best kept secret,” added René. Robeson County Church & Community Center is still in need of many items which are listed on their web site: http://www.robesoncccc.org/wish-lists. For more information about the Native American Church of Virginia visit: www.SanctuaryontheTrail.org.
Families still affected by flooding following Hurricane Matthew
LUMBERTON, NC — About 75 students at Lumberton High School have learned an important lesson without opening a book — that there are folks who have never met them, who don’t know their families, but want to help them navigate some troubled waters. (News Article by Terri Ferguson Smith)
Those students, who remain homeless after flooding from Hurricane Matthew, are being anonymously adopted by donors who have signed onto the Adopt a Pirate — One Backpack at a Time program.
Sanctuary on the Trail is one of those places. Several people have stepped up to help us by donating winter gear and money.
Today Rene' spoke with Adrian Hammonds, one of five Lumberton High School school guidance counselors who have been working to provide students what they need following Hurricane Matthew.
He is trying to raise $3,750 to give the 75 students $50 gift cards each for Christmas. We offered to match that with $3,000, giving the children and additional $40 gift card each.
Would you consider helping us?
Adrian describes the children as humble and good natured. The thing they need most is a place to stay. They are moving from house to house and hotel to hotel. Some have to drive as far as 40 minutes to get to school each day.
In the local newspaper Adrian sais, “They are so amazed. They say, ‘Mr. Hammonds, who are these people?’ We just tell them that they are people who care for you, who love you. Here’s a new pair of shoes, here’s a new jacket. It’s really worth it to see how the students are reacting to it.”
According to the newspaper article, Hammonds said when students returned to classes three weeks after the flooding, counselors tried to assess which ones were still living in hotels, shelters or with relatives.
“We made an announcement to the children that we want to show you that we love you, we know that you are under stress and we want to help you,” Hammonds said.
They identified about 75 who were displaced and met the initial needs of school supplies, personal hygiene items, food and water. Then churches, businesses and other organizations began adopting Pirates one at a time.
Adrian Hammonds, one of five Lumberton High School school guidance counselors who have been working to provide students what they need following Hurricane Matthew.
Would you consider helping?
This is Rene's Robeston County/Lumberton hometown neighborhood, devesitated by flooding following Hurricane Matthew. Rene' is President of Sanctuary on the Trail and will ensure your gift(s) reach these children.
-- Thank you and Merry Christmas!
With the program attending to some of the children’s personal expenses, such as shoes, socks, school supplies and clothing, parents can save money for getting into an apartment or house, Hammonds said. After initial purchases were made, cash donations went to purchase gift cards for students.
School counselors are collecting backpacks stuffed with donated items and clothes nearly every day. Donors are not given the child’s name. Each child is assigned a number and donors are given that number, clothing sizes and other information about what the child needs, Hammonds said.
“These teenagers are very protective of their identity, their image,” Hammonds said.
Hammonds shared notes from students expressing appreciation.
One read: “Thank you so much. This means so much to me and my family. May God bless you so much. I can’t stop thanking you. I know you haven’t seen me before but I hope this makes your day.”
And another: “Hi. I wanted to say thank you for all your selfless giving and support. My family and I have been through a lot due to the storm and we’re trying to get our lives back together. I really appreciate all you have done, nothing has gone to waste or in vain … . What may have seemed like a little giving has been a big blessing to our lives.”
Hammonds said he hopes adopters can help the students beyond the Christmas season as their needs are not short term.
“If an adopted child comes to me and tells me that their family is now going to be in a house, I want to be able to tell my adopting family that now they need towels, wash clothes, a bed and other things like that,” Hammonds said.
Numerous churches have adopted Pirates, as well as some Lumberton graduates — one from the class of 1978 and another from the class of 1982.
Anyone who wishes to donate to the program can email Hammonds at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school at 910-737-5115, 910-737-5112, or 910-737-5110.
Robesonian Newspaper Terri Ferguson Smith can be reached at 910-416-5165.
Sanctuary on the Trail will continue to take in donations to help these children through the Spring.
Contact is Rene' Locklear White, 540-554-8730, email@example.com.
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