11/18/05 — Warming Tree Project begun by Wayne brother and sister

View Archive

Warming Tree Project begun by Wayne brother and sister

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 18, 2005 1:50 PM


News-Argus Staff Writer

A Wayne County brother and sister have started a project to collect gloves, mittens, scarves, socks and hats for the needy this winter.

Called "The Warming Tree," the goal is to set up 10 Christmas trees at various locations that will be decorated with the donations.

Michael Atkins, a freshman at Charles B. Aycock High School, and his sister, Brittany Harper, a Wayne Community College student studying elementary education, have already received commitments from a half dozen locations for the campaign. They are seeking additional agencies or businesses willing to participate as a site for the donations, as well as trees to decorate.

The items will be delivered at the Christmas holidays.

"We thought of this because there are a lot of people that can't afford things like this," Atkins said. "It's kind of important that you have something to keep you warm in the winter time. If you don't have somewhere to live, it's really hard to stay well in the winter season."

The drop-off points currently accepting donations are Adamsville Baptist Church Day Care, Tommy's Road Elementary School and the 4-H after school program there, the Wayne County Museum, Waynesboro Park, and two locations at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base -- the community center and AMXS.

The two young people are not new to service projects. Ms. Harper recently worked with the after-school program at Tommy's Road and volunteers in a kindergarten class there. For the past year, Atkins has led several projects that benefited victims of Hurricane Katrina. He helped at a car wash and a karaoke fundraiser and conducted drives to send school supplies to two schools in Mississippi and a library book project for two other schools there. He has also volunteered at the local library, dressing as storybook characters and reading to children, teaching classes at Westhaven, and teaching 4-H classes.

Last weekend, he received the N.C. 4-H Southeast District Youth Volunteer Award for his community service efforts.

For more information on the "Warming Tree" project or to make a donation, call 242-2410 or 919-396-2213.