An excellent investment

Published 12:47 am Thursday, January 17, 2008

By Staff
It’s the time of year when local nonprofit organizations, social-services agencies and others ask for funds from local governments.
One of those requests came before the Washington City Council on Monday. This is one funding request the council should approve.
Eagle’s Wings, the largest food pantry in Beaufort County, is asking the city to contribute $2,000 to its proposed budget of $95,800 for 2008. The city should make that contribution, if not make a larger one.
Eagle’s Wings, which provides free grocery-type items to needy families, served 2,181 clients last year. Eagle’s Wings also help clients who face eviction, having their utilities cut off and need help buying medication. Eagle’s Wings carefully monitors its clients to make sure they truly need the assistance the organization provides. Eagle’s Wings continually works with its clients to verify they meet requirements to receive that assistance.
Eagle’s Wings, which recently bought the building that houses its operations, has a long-range plan that includes replacing a heater that no longer works, acquiring a walk-in freezer to replace 23 refrigerators and expanding its services. That expansion is needed because Eagles’ Wings continues to serve more and more people, Adams told the council.
There is no doubt Eagle’s Wings is committed to helping the community. The City of Washington should make a commitment to help Eagle’s Wings. So should Beaufort County and the other governmental agencies in the county.
Last year, Eagle’s Wings helped 1,426 people who live in Washington. It helped 339 people who live in Chocowinity. In Aurora, 139 folks were helped. Eagle’s Wings assisted 108 people in Belhaven. It provided help to 98 folks in Blounts Creek, 29 people in Pinetown, 24 people in Pantego and 18 folks in Bath.
Those numbers show that Eagle’s Wings is making a positive difference in people’s lives.
By providing food and emergency assistance when it comes to rent, utilities and medication, Eagle’s Wings is meeting immediate needs. But Eagle’s Wings does much more than just feed someone for a day.
Eagle’s Wings is working to break the cycle of poverty in Beaufort County. It’s services include programs to educate its clients in the areas of nutrition, budgeting and educational opportunities. Eagle’s Wings provides resources to its clients to help them find jobs. To accomplish its goals, Eagle’s Wings works with more than 20 organizations.
Food Lion donates large amounts of food to Eagle’s Wings. On a daily basis, Eagle’s Wings volunteers go to Food Lion to pick up that food so it can be distributed to Eagle’s Wings clients. Several area churches support Eagle’s Wings by providing volunteers and money.
Those partnerships are helping improve lives each day. Those partnerships are helping improve the community each day.
When the City Council adopts the city’s budget for the next fiscal year, that budget should include money for Eagle’s Wings.
It’s an investment that pays off in dividends that are measured in human terms.