East Stokes Outreach Ministry in Walnut Cove was dealt a devastating blow when the exterior of their longstanding building began to show signs of deterioration last year. Director Marchelle Brown said they tried a number of things to correct the problem, but each was a temporary fix.
The non-profit is vital in the community and distributes around $10,000 of food per month and $1,600 in personal care items to people who live on the eastern side of N.C. 8 in Stokes County.
Longtime volunteer and ESOM board member, Angie Bailey approached the Town of Walnut Cove in late 2017 and requested $16,000 to brick the exterior façade.
The board awarded $8,000 towards the project initially and on July 11 at their monthly meeting, voted unanimously to fund an additional $7,000 to pay for the remaining costs of the brickwork completed in April.
Bailey said she’s very appreciative of the board’s decision.
“Every dollar is worth seven meals through Second Harvest Food Bank. With them paying for this, it will allow ESOM to continue helping people in need,” she added.
Bailey explained the summer months are especially crucial for children.
“When kids are in school, they’re getting free or reduced lunch at least two times a day. Now, parents are trying to feed their kids and it’s a challenge for a lot of people in this area,” she said.
Commissioner Charles Byron said the decision to assist ESOM was an easy one.
“Many of us have worked with them personally over the years. It’s an organization that’s near and dear to our hearts, so I think everybody was enthusiastic about being able to help with offsetting their costs so they can channel their funds into the primary mission of the food bank.”
The $15,000 funding covers the brick façade work and the board plans to assist with the final phase of signage costs and landscaping.
“The only reason we didn’t add that into their request is because they had not ascertained the cost yet. We asked them to get an estimate and we anticipate being able to help them with that as well,” Byron said. “People of Walnut Cove have always been very compassionate and giving people. I think many of us consider ESOM a community treasure and anything we can do collectively to support their mission we stand ready to do. We count it as a blessing to be able to participate in the fine work they do in the community.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.