Eagle’s Wings has new director

Published 11:21 am Saturday, December 11, 2010

Staff Writer

A longtime community volunteer has taken the reins of Eagle’s Wings, a Washington-based food pantry that feeds hundreds of needy people every year.
Sally Love was hired as executive director of Eagle’s Wings Oct. 1.
Love is no stranger to charitable outreach. Ten years ago, she helped start a local crisis hotline for troubled callers.
Love has been a member of the Literacy Volunteers of Beaufort County’s board, and is treasurer of the Beaufort County Concert Association. She also directs the River City Ringers, a handbell choir.
In addition to her regular duties, Love’s tasks this week included distributing thank-you cards to participants in Dancing with OUR Stars, the annual Eagle’s Wings fundraiser held in August.
In an interview Thursday, Love said Eagle’s Wings’ board had sent her to an executive-director training program at Duke University. Love added she was enjoying her work and her interaction with the staff and volunteers at the pantry.
“It’s great,” said Love. “They are wonderful people, very well organized, doing a really good job with a terrific attitude.”
She confirmed Eagle’s Wings had seen an increase in people seeking food for themselves and their families, as per usual around the holidays.
“This week was hard because the weather was so cold,” she said, adding that some of the pantry’s clients walk or bike to the facility at 932 W. Third St., Washington.
According to Love, the families or individuals who ask for and qualify for help through Eagle’s Wings are given up to 60 pounds of food on designated days. Some of these clients return for help, while others come just once, she said.
Some of this food is donated by Food Lion and Wal-Mart, she said, while the rest is taken in from churches, civic groups such as the Boy Scouts or single donors.
These donations usually come in the form of canned goods and other nonperishable items.
Eagle’s Wings accepts client referrals from churches and official agencies, including the Beaufort Department of Social Services, and a vetting process, done with the cooperation of the staff and volunteers, requires a review of income and other records.
The staff and others who power Eagle’s Wings try to make the application and food-gathering processes as pleasant as possible, Love indicated.
“They are so friendly and courteous and kind to people,” she said. “It’s a very cheerful environment.”
On average, Eagle’s Wings serves 250 families per month, and has reached 900 families — about 2,500 people — so far this year, Love related.
Eagle’s Wings relies heavily on volunteers. It has three part-time staff members, and Love is the organization’s only full-time employee.
Among the new ideas Love is promoting is a plea for monetary contributions, highlighting Eagle’s Wings’ buying power.
Eagle’s Wings gets its food through the regional Food Bank of the Albemarle and, through this food bank, can purchase a pound of goods for 19 cents, or 50 pounds of food for around $10.
“If people will donate money to us, we can turn that $10 into $50,” Love said.
Eagle’s Wings is open for food pick up from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays only. The building is closed every fifth Tuesday.
For more information, call Eagle’s Wings at 252-975-1138 or visit its website, www.eagles-wings.org.