Friends of North Drive Elementary work to give back to community
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 27, 2008 1:46 PM
From left, Roy Richardson, Leonard Compton and Mark Nye help deliver turkeys and the trimmings for 10 needy families at North Drive Elementary School this week. The group had earlier collected 25 coats for students, and plans to continue the spirit of giving at Christmas.
Leonard Compton regularly volunteers in his grandson's classroom at North Drive Elementary School.
But on one chilly day as the youngsters played outside, he noticed some without coats.
"He asked me about it and I said there are a lot of students that need coats," said Principal Carol Artis.
The next thing she knew, he had talked it up among his co-workers -- at Time Warner in Morrisville-- returning to the school a few weeks later with 25 brand-new coats.
The supervisor in the tap audit department had mentioned it to the 15 staff members on his team, who immediately bought into the project.
Then he took it a step further.
"He asked what we do for the holidays" at the school, Mrs. Artis said. She shared about their canned food drive and how she bought a few turkeys for those in need.
"He seemed surprised that I buy the turkeys out of my own pocket and he offered to take that on," she said. "I was just overwhelmed with that."
This week, he returned with a few of co-workers to deliver turkey and trimmings to take care of 10 needy families at the school.
"It was pretty easy," said one of them, George Henry. "It's a total of 15 guys (in our office) and we just asked them and they just gave."
Efforts started about a month ago, but came together well, Henry said.
"They were just happy to do it," he said.
To hear Compton tell it, the hard work paid off.
"In the back of my mind, I knew that I had plenty of friends," he said. "I started thinking, we can do a lot more."
Beyond his own office, he enlisted help from sister Time Warner locations in Wilmington and Fayetteville, who contributed to the coat drive. Prestige Auto out of Kinston, D&M Jones Trucking and the Wayne County Blazers also made donations.
But it doesn't end with Thanksgiving.
Compton also asked Artis to come up with a list of two children per grade level at the school -- 10 total -- whose Christmas holidays he might brighten. He plans to partner with the business community to provide gifts for each at holiday time.
For him, it's all about giving back.
"We try to do our own thing back in Wayne County," he explained. "Me and George are from Wayne County and from Wayne County schools. We try to help and do things in our community. ... I like volunteering and being able to help wherever I can. What we wanted to do was see if there were any needs and try to respond to them."
At North Drive School, though, Compton just may be Santa.
"The generosity of this crew that he supervised at Time Warner Cable, I think has been unprecedented," Mrs. Artis said. "Especially at a time when the economy is like it is, and this is not a big group but a lot of individuals who just want to help."
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