By - Staff Writer/Lincoln Herald
The United Way of Lincoln County, with the help of Lowe's and others including multiple volunteers got a head start on the National Day of Giving--which will be the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, with a Day of Giving Back at the West Lincoln Resource Center. The center, located inside West Lincoln Middle School, was modeled after the Asbury Resource Center, which opened in 2016 making use of an old school building on the campus of Asbury Academy on Salem Church Road. Like the ARC, it provides food, clothing, and supplies for students and families in need on the western end of Lincoln County. Today,
Lowe's, which has Lincoln County locations in Lincolnton and east Lincoln, donated $1000 worth of food and supplies for families and students, provided the man-power to assemble new shelving and stock the food, and donated other needed supplies just in time for the holiday season.
Additionally, Partners Behavioral Health and Phoenix Counseling Center, in collaboration of Aaron’s, Inc., donated a freezer and refrigerator to store perishable food items. Partners Behavior Health, Phoenix Counseling, and Burton Farms donated frozen turkeys and over 500 lbs. of potatoes to distribute to families for Thanksgiving meals. Donations of toys and clothes were also dropped off during the event.
The chefs and youth of Aspire Youth and Families, Inc. provided and prepared lunch for volunteers and community stakeholders who came to celebrate and stock the shelves with food and supplies. Asbury United Methodist Church and Duke Energy provided Blessing Bags filled with necessities and comfort items to be distributed to students. To help bring awareness to the needs of students in western Lincoln County, West Lincoln Middle School principal, Kristie Ballard, and Dr. Tim Beam, Director of Federal Programs and Student Services for Lincoln County Schools, spoke to volunteers and stakeholders about the impact the center has already had on students and families, and thanked everyone for their continued partnership with Lincoln County Schools.
To celebrate the day, there were a number of community stakeholders who stopped by to enjoy lunch and tour the West Lincoln Resource Center and witness first-hand the work being done; including NC State Senator Ted Alexander; Christina Sutton – recently elected to the Board of Education; Jordan Frye from Atrium, a UWLC Board Member; Kenneth Gehrig from Partners; Lisa and Dave Vaughn from Asbury United Methodist Church; Melissa Summer from Phoenix; Shelly McCraw from First Federal Savings Bank, HD Reed and Fred & June Jarrett; UWLC Board Members; Jacob Brown and employees from Lowe's; Coach Paige and Chefs Diedra and Everett from Aspire; and John Davis from Lincoln County Parks & Recreation.
Kathy Vinzant, United Way Executive Director, thanked everyone for participating in the Day of Giving Back, adding “Lincoln County is blessed to have so many people willing to step up and help those who are struggling. This year has proven stressful for many families living in Lincoln County, and the United Way is thankful to the many volunteers and businesses that continue to lend a helping hand to community members in need.
"Collectively, Lowe's, Partners Behavioral Health, Phoenix Counseling Center, Aspire Youth and Families, Inc., Burton Farms, Duke Energy, Aaron’s, Inc. and Asbury United Methodist Church have stocked the shelves and provided supplies and necessities to help meet the needs and faithfully serve their fellow community members."
Those who would like to make a contribution to the West Lincoln Resource Center, either food or other items or a cash contribution, should contact Kristie Ballard, principal at West Lincoln Middle School, to make arrangements. Those who would like to contribute to the Asbury Resource Center should contact Dr. Tim Beam at the Lincoln County Schools Administrative Office.