Members of the Vance County Democratic Party and other local officials braved cool, breezy conditions Monday to demonstrate servant leadership by collecting non-perishable food items for two agencies.
Marcia Allen, chair of the Vance County Democratic Party, said the group sponsored the event in conjunction with the National Day of Service as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. All donated items will be given to Area Christians Together in Service (ACTS) and The Help Center of Vance County, Allen said during Monday’s Town Talk with John C. Rose.
“That’s our goal – to let our community know that we care,” she said. “We have to care about each other. It doesn’t matter what your affiliation is… as a party, we care about each other, and we want to help as much as we can,” she explained.
These two agencies were chosen, Allen said, because they are receiving a lot of clients at this time. She recently toured the ACTS storage center and noted that “their cupboards are getting a little bare.” ACTS also serves lunch daily. Their efforts to fight food insecurity, as well as those of The Help Center, are worthy recipients of the food drive. “We want to make sure they at least have something on the shelves to share with the community,” Allen said.
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Didn’t make it to drop off a donation of food during the Monday drive? No problem. Allen said donations can be dropped off at Shear Magic, 1224 Dabney Drive and Angela Thornton, first vice-chair of the Vance County Democratic Party, will accept them any day except Monday, when the salon is closed.
Vance Sheriff Curtis Brame participated in the event, held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Perry Memorial Library. “It’s a great day,” he said, “and truly an honor to see different organizations, different denominations, people gathering peacefully, as Dr. Martin Luther King wanted us to,” Brame said. The food drive is a great cause, he added, as a way to honor the King legacy.
Henry L. Gupton, Vance County Clerk of Superior Court, agreed. “We don’t mind being in the cold for what we’re doing today,” he said. “Any day is a good day to serve,” Gupton said.
Recalling Dr. King’s message that everyone can be great because everyone can serve, Allen said that the work done to help in the community transcends political parties and other differences. “If we look at each other as family, then we’re going to be kind, and cordial and helpful toward each other.”
The King holiday has been celebrated on the third Monday in January since its inception in 1986. The slain civil rights leader’s philosophy of peaceful protest and servant leadership remains relevant today, Allen said. “We should have that at the forefront of our being. We are here to serve – to serve each other.” And, she added, she will “still have this servant mentality tomorrow,” even though the holiday has passed.
Allen encouraged other Democrats to become active in the local party, noting that there are openings at the local precinct level. Contact Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org. The local party is planning to host monthly community projects as one way to increase service at the community level, she said.