10/23/05 — Make a Difference Day in Wayne

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Make a Difference Day in Wayne

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 23, 2005 2:06 AM

Early-morning fog and the threat of rain didn't dampen the spirits of Wayne County residents as they rolled up their sleeves and pitched in for the 14th annual Make a Difference Day on Saturday.

The day culminated a week of projects.

It started with a ceremony on the steps of the courthouse. United Way Campaign Chairman Jane Rustin welcomed those attending saying that "we have had several volunteer activities this week, but every day we have ordinary folks doing extraordinary things for this community.

"You really can't tell a volunteer on the outside, but they have a light inside and it shows."

Col. Harry Woodson, 916th Air Refueling Wing mission support group commander at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, was the speaker. He said that to change the world, you have to start with yourself. "If you change yourself first, you can better your family and maybe your country and your world."

Woodson also talked about the seven ports of life, the seaports where you dock your life. They are job, home/family, spiritual/church, health, recreation, civic and self-development.

"All are important for you to be a better person and have a good healthy life," he said. "You should be spending some time in all of the ports. But self-development is the key port. All the other ports get a lot easier when you do this one."

Woodson stressed that everyone is sent to earth by God to make a difference. "In order to get closer to God, we must bring blessings to others and not just sit around waiting for blessings to come to us."

Mayor Al King read a Make A Difference Day proclamation during the opening ceremony. He said that "we as Americans have a tradition of philanthropy and volunteerism. This is one way the residents of Goldsboro can share in support of volunteerism and do projects."

Also during the ceremony, awards for North Carolina's Outstanding Volunteer Service were presented to five people -- Ann Adams, Durwood Bostic Jr., Patricia Faircloth, Suzanne B. Tyner and Greg Wilson.

Ms. Adams volunteers at Britthaven, taking the residents to activity areas and helping them with games and arts and crafts.

Bostic has volunteered with the Red Cross for six years, working with families after fires and serving as a victim's advocate.

Ms. Faircloth has been a child advocate with Guardian ad Litem for 20 years, doing court intervention to secure children's safety.

Ms. Tyner gives 15 hours a week to the Wayne County Humane Society, promoting animal information and education and helping with fundraisers.

Wilson volunteers with the Pikeville Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department in addition to holding down a full-time job with the Air Force at Seymour Johnson AFB.

Following the ceremony, volunteers went to various sites to do projects.

Members of the base Enlisted Spouses Club and Officer and Civilian Spouse Club and the Meadow Lane Elementary School parent volunteer group did landscaping and maintenance at the school.

The base donated money to purchase materials and mulch for landscaping.

A special memorial garden was planted for Avery Hackett, a student who died last year. The garden was outlined with bricks with a small ballerina statue in the center because Avery loved to dance.

Lori Jo Duvall, parent volunteer, said they did the projects because "we care about our children. We think the look of the grounds is a significant part of their education and want them to be proud of the way their school looks."

Amy Schaefer, Enlisted Spouses Club, said the school works hard to meet the needs of the students, especially those with military connections.

"That's not an easy thing to do and we certainly appreciate it," she said. "We wanted to show them how much they mean to us. This is the least that we can do is give up one Saturday. We'd give up many more if they asked."

Boy Scout Trop 229 also helped with landscaping at the school.

First Citizens Bank held a food drive for the Community Soup Kitchen. During the week-long drive the bank collected items such as paper plates, napkins, plastic knives and forks and nonperishable food.

Bank Vice President Terry Jordan said "we just wanted to help a worthwhile cause that would be helping with feeding someone that was unable to have food. We look at TV and watch the news and see so many people that are suffering."

Jordan said First Citizens is a bank that wants to be part of its community. "So we certainly want to help those in need."

Mount Olive Middle School held a supply drive for the American Red Cross and collected nonperishable food for the Salvation Army's food pantry.

The library collected school supplies for Communities in Schools, supplies for the Red Cross and supplies for flood buckets, baby kits and health kits for the MERCI Center.

Pittard Perry and Crone Inc. also collected items for the MERCI Center.

Cub Scout Troop 258 helped organize donated items for disaster relief at the MERCI Center.

RBC Berkeley and the county of Wayne collected nonperishable food for the Salvation Army.

The base family support office provided volunteers to replace the carpet at the Boy Scouts of America building.

Last year about 1,700 volunteers from Wayne County businesses, government, churches, civic organizations, school and the base participated in supply drives for Make A Difference Day, doing projects for 22 local agencies.

Groups landscaped Waynesborough Historical Village and cleared trails on the Mountain to Sea Trail. They made greeting cards for Meals on Wheels clients and made 400 nonperishable lunch bags for them.