Opportunities to help community abound

Published 9:04 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2012

While most of us live fairly comfortable lives, there are a significant number of Beaufort County residents with substantial need.

The need may be related to poverty, like not knowing where to find a next meal or place to sleep. The need might be related to health — physical and mental. For a child, the need may simply be access to someone who cares.

For those of us who don’t face these challenges personally, it can be easy to forget how fortunate we are.

And then there are people who have dedicated their lives to serving others, working daily to help those in our community that need it most.

These people and the many nonprofit organizations they lead, staff or support, are a precious resource.

That becomes clear quickly when you spend time with someone like Beaufort County United Way Director Mark Hamblin.

He holds a deep passion for helping others through the United Way, its community partners and other similarly focused organizations.

You’ll find a similar spark in people like Pam Daw at the Beaufort County Developmental Center, Malveatta Jones at the Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club, Sally Love at Eagle’s Wings, Sallie Moler at The Blind Center and Bishop Samuel Jones Jr. at the Purpose of God Annex. Luckily for Beaufort County, there are countless others.

They all depend on outside funding and, of course, appreciate your monetary support. But your time can be just as valuable and often much more rewarding.

If you want to get involved, but don’t know where to start, Hamblin is a great resource. You can get more information at www.unitedwaybc.net.

You may also help by participating in events benefiting local nonprofit groups. A few highlights for the month of May include:

  • The Wellness Works 5K: Hosted by Flanders Corporation, the East Carolina Road Racing event benefits United Way of Beaufort County and Pitt County. It will be held at 9 a.m. May 12. For more information, contact Chelsea Corey, ccorey@flanderscorp.com, 252-946-8081 ext. 33513 or Kip Sloan, kip@ecrr.us, 252-355-3180.
  • May is Mental Health Month event: Dr. Paul Garcia, chief of psychiatry at Vidant Beaufort Hospital, will speak on Predicting Suicidal and Dangerous People at 7 p.m. May 7 at Cowell Chapel beside First United Methodist Church, 304 W. Second St.
  • The Herb Shop (Beaufort County Developmental Center): Located at 1534 W. Fifth St., The Herb Shop is celebrating its grand opening with store hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Its Saturday location is at the Saturday Market site Stewart Parkway. The shop features potted plants, fresh-harvested vegetables, herbs and flowers grown and sold by BCDC clients.