Giving love to Lumberton

Published 9:36 am Thursday, September 27, 2018

While much of the attention has been focused on relief efforts at the coast, Davie native Miranda Williams is making sure victims of Hurricane Florence in Robeson County are receiving help.

Williams, the daughter of Barry Williams and Kimberly Stewart, is a 2013 graduate of Davie High and a recent graduate of UNC-Pembroke. She teaches eighth grade in the exceptional children program at Fairmont Middle School, about 20 minutes outside the heart of Lumberton, which is one of the poorest cities in one of the poorest counties in the state.

“It’s just where my heart is at this point,” she said.

It is estimated between 27 and 30 percent of people there live below the poverty level, and Williams said 70 percent of the children live in poverty.

The struggle to survive has been compounded by Hurricane Florence, and Williams said many there still haven’t recovered from Hurricane Matthew two years ago. So, Williams has organized, as she did in 2016, a relief effort, called Giving Love to Lumberton.

Williams has partnered with the seventh grade team at William Ellis Middle School and with area businesses to serve as drop-offs for items such as clothing, personal hygiene items, water, pet food and crates, and non-perishable food. She also recently spoke to students at Davie High about the need for donations.

Williams’ school was not one of the hardest hit during the hurricane and was able to be used as a shelter. She has been staying in Lexington until schools are opened, hopefully next week, she said.

There is an ongoing need for baby items such as diapers, wipes, clothes, and formula, and for items for children such as clothing, coloring books Crayons and other books. Williams said they prefer new clothing but used clothing in good shape is also appreciated. They are not taking furniture or any household items, as Williams said many people lost their homes and have no need for such items.

Local donation sites: Torque Performance & Fitness, Gym 365 (Bermuda Run), The Country Veterinary Hospital (items for pets only), Black Lotus Tattoo and Piercing (water only), Venezia Italian Family Restaurant, Cuttin Time, Honor Darling, Sadie’s Unique Boutique, and in Winston-Salem at Kraze Fitness and Martial Arts and L. James Salon. Donations will be accepted through Saturday and taken to Lumberton Sunday. Donations will be taken at William Ellis through Oct. 12.  More information may be found on flyers at local businesses such as Deano’s BBQ, Maddie Cakes, Scoops Ice Cream, Millers Restaurant, Davie Tavern and Restaurant 101 or by calling Williams at (336) 971-1920.