04/28/10 — Leaders pick soup kitchen for county class project

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Leaders pick soup kitchen for county class project

By Laura Collins
Published in News on April 28, 2010 1:46 PM

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Robert Yancey and other members of Leadership Wayne County remodel a room at the Community Soup Kitchen of Goldsboro as part of the class's annual project. Members said they chose the kitchen because it serves a large need in the community. The group is painting, replacing the front door, rebuilding closet space and replacing some of the kitchen's utensils and cookware.

The Community Soup Kitchen of Goldsboro is getting a face-lift thanks to Leadership Wayne County.

The service project for the current Leadership class is focused on revamping and updating the soup kitchen, which serves about 100 meals every day.

The Leadership Wayne County program, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Wayne Charitable Partnership, was created to give future community leaders a chance to learn more about Wayne's business community, its local government and its civic life. Each year's class chooses a service project.

This year's class president, Robert Yancey of Wayne County Public Schools, said the group wanted to pick a good cause that would have a real impact on the community.

"After much deliberation and discussion, we finally settled on the soup kitchen," he said. "It serves all members of the community in need, and we thought that was very profound. That resonated with the group."

Additionally, Yancey said, the class liked the fact that the soup kitchen is entirely funded by private donations.

"They live and breathe from donations from people in the county. We thought there could be some things done there to help them out and make the facility more functional, not only for staff but clients," he said.

"The project we wanted to take on, we wanted it to affect as many people as it could for as long as it could," said the class's project committee chairman, Blain Crocker. "We feel like a lot of people forget the soup kitchen because they think all they need is a food drive. This project goes beyond a food drive."

The cornerstone of the renovation will be the installation of a security camera system. Leadership Wayne County joined with the soup kitchen board of directors to finance the system, each paying half.

"We felt that with any facility of that nature there are a lot of donations that come in," Yancey said. "They do have an alarm system, but with a video camera it can document anything that may happen and also act as a deterrent."

The group will also be painting, replacing the front door, rebuilding a closet to hold the donated clothes and replacing some of the cookware and utensils. At the end up of the project, which the class expects to wrap up the beginning of May, they will conduct a non-food drive to help stock the soup kitchen with plates, cups, napkins and disposable utensils.

"This project has given me insight into what it means to serve others in need," Yancey said. "I enjoy what we're doing and as we make further additions I hope they have a chance to appreciate and enjoy them."

The class raised $3,000 to fund the project though a Valentine's Day raffle and pancake breakfast. They are also currently selling tickets for a Souper Basket raffle which features gift certificates provided by area business that total about $2,000.

For information on the Souper Basket or about getting involved with Leadership Wayne County, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 734-2241.

Leadership Wayne County participants meet monthly from October through April to tour the area, visiting businesses, agencies and historical landmarks in an effort to learn more about the county.

This year's class members, in addition to Yancey, include Polly Allegra of the Wayne County Extension Service, 4-H; Bonnie Ard of Britthaven of Goldsboro; Bradley Bradshaw of Progress Energy; Loretta Burton of 3HC Home Health and Hospice Care Inc.; Blain Crocker of Best Commercial Development; Katherine Daniels of N.C. Community Federal Credit Union; John Herring of Wayne Memorial Hospital; Charity Johnson of the Partnership for Children of Wayne County; Judy Joyner of the Goldsboro Family YMCA; Alan Lumpkin of the County of Wayne; Jeremy Mitchell of First Citizens Bank; Matthew Steed of The Little Bank; Adrienne Strickland of Habitat for Humanity of Goldsboro-Wayne; Beverly Wallace-Wiggins of Branch Banking & Trust Co.; Robert Winders of KS Bank; and Anne-Marie Wright of Pittard Perry & Crone Inc.