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Giving Locally To Help Locally
Sustaining The Groups That Sustain Us
December 27, 2016

‘is the season of giving, the season of charity. But because it comes amid a lot of holiday hustle and bustle, it can be challenging to sort out what charitable organizations to give to. One approach is to keep it as local as you can. Charity, after all, begins at home.

In Oriental and Pamlico County, a number of non-profit groups keep their focus local and for that reason they have become a huge part of what makes our community tick. Some, such as HOPE Clinic and Heartworks, work to improve – literally – the health of the community. Other groups make their mark by taking other tacks for boosting the quality of life – Pamlico County Arts Council, the Pamlico Musical Society, the Old Theater, Friends of the Pamlico Library, among others.

The non-profit groups can’t do it alone. They need financial support from the rest of us. That is why the local organizations listed below especially appreciate your financial — and tax-deductible — contributions.

As you consider giving a helping hand – and in most cases, getting the tax-deduction – here is a quick guide to some of the organizations serving Oriental and Pamlico County. You’ll find links and contacts so that you may learn even more about them.

More organizations will be added through the day. For starters, here are some for your consideration….

For the past decade, HeartWorks has worked to fill a big gap. The youth center provides many otherwise underserved young people in Pamlico County with educational and academic enrichment programs after school as well as life skills development. The non-profit community agency in Bayboro also helps youth — and their families — get the mental and physical health help that they may need. It provides a Safe Harbor – literally, that’s the name of its building on Hwy 55 in Bayboro. To get an idea of what Karen Prince and the others at Heartworks are working on, visit their website. To join the list of donors, send checks, made out to HeartWorks, to PO Box 365, Bayboro NC 28515. Or if you want to be sure to make the December 31 deadline , drop it off at HeartWorks’ Safe Harbor Youth Center at 709 Main Street, Bayboro (Hwy 55) And they would welcome more volunteers… which you can read about at the website.

Friends of the Pamlico County Library
The Pamlico County Library’s been a busy place in recent years. More than 6700 people visit the library every month lately, with more books than ever checked out. Yet the library offers more than books – there are classes and art displays, too. Much of the library’s budget comes from the County government. But not all, and that’s where the Friends of the Pamlico County Library steps in. As part of its efforts for local literacy, the Friends of the Pamlico County Library buys books that the library’s budget can’t otherwise afford. The Friends’ great seasonal book sales do raise some funds but the Friends could use some more financial help. Checks, made out to Friends of the Library, may be addressed and sent to Friends of the Pamlico Library, Pamlico County Library, 603 Main Street, Bayboro, NC 28515

Pamlico Community College Foundation
This foundation raises funds for scholarships and financial aid for students at Pamlico Community College. Those funds from PCCF help students who might not otherwise afford it, take this first step toward a degree. Some of the students are county residents who are the first in their families to attend college. The PCC Foundation says that if it can help just one person get a college education at PCC, it will have been worth the effort. Your contribution would be much appreciated and can be sent to the: Pamlico Community College Foundation, PO Box 185, Grantsboro, NC 28529

Oriental Regional County Ambulance/Dottie Gray Ambulance Fund
ORCA’s board and the Dottie Gray Ambulance Fund help fund emergency care in the Oriental area. With emergency calls, every second counts and thanks to ORCA, a Pamlico Rescue ambulance and paramedic team has been situated at the Oriental fire station for 5 years. Their time there, however, is limited to 40 hours a week. When you call 911 after 5p and on weekends, the response time will be longer because the Pamlico Rescue’s ambulance/paramedic squad has to travel a dozen miles from their main base in Bayboro.

All of this underscores the vital role that Oriental’s First Responders continue to play. Because they live close by, these EMT volunteers can get to the scene fast and stabilize patients and ready them for the ambulance and the more advanced care they can get when the paramedics do arrive from Bayboro. ORCA recently helped the Oriental First Responders buy and outfit a Quick Response Vehicle to assist them in their work which can literally mean the difference between life and death. More details in this letter ORCA recently sent out. Donations would be written out to “NCCF/Dottie Gray Ambulance Fund” and sent to the Dottie Gray Ambulance Fund, NC Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612

The Old Theater
In the course of the year, you may be taking a seat at Oriental’s Old Theater to hear music, see a performance, watch a movie. The building that started life as a movie theater in the 1940’s is now the go-to place in Oriental for concerts, plays, movies, children’s programs and a variety of civic, business, club and charity events. Volunteers with the Old Theater Corporation keep this town jewel going so that it’s always ready for an audience. But it takes money as well. Memberships start at $30 — which is a gift that keeps giving, because it gets you discounts on many events at the theater. For a membership form, go to www.OldTheater.org. Send checks to the Old Theater Corporation, PO Box 521, Oriental, NC 28571. You can also support the Old Theater with the purchase of a courtyard brick engraved with your name or message. Email oldtheater@gmail.com on how to order.

One place to make your mark: donate to the Old Theater and get your name in the brick outside the stage door.

Holt’s Chapel Community Center
The HCCC, a one-story building on Janeiro Road, started life as a Rosenwald School for black students from the 1920’s thru 1960s. It’s one of several thousand such schools in the South financed in part by Sears executive, Julius 
Rosenwald. A documentary about the philanthropist was shown at Oriental’s Old Theater in the spring of 2016 and in the spirit of the film’s subject, enough money was raised to fix the HCCC’s leaky roof, the pilings under the building and its chimneys. HCCC President Teresa Badger says she is grateful to “our friends with big hearts” who made those repairs possible. There is more to be done in 2017. To be designated a National Historic Landmark – as some other surviving Rosenwald schools have been – 22 tall windows, akin to the originals, will have to be bought and installed. An estimated $8,800 is needed to do that and to pay for replacement of rotted floor joists, a paint job and a stove for the kitchen. Checks written to “HCCC” may be sent to HCCC, In care of Teresa Badger, President, PO Box 616, Oriental, NC 28571

North Carolina Coastal Federation
The N.C. Coastal Federation has been working for years to protect -and restore the coast. Its offices are in Carteret County but the NCCF’s work runs up and down the coast and water fronts. Here in Pamlico County, it was the NC Coastal Federation that led the charge to get federal agencies to enforce wetlands laws at the Atlas Tract in Florence and Merritt. Without that intervention, much more of those tens of thousands of acres would’ve been clear cut and absorptive wetlands ruined. Among NCCF’s other missions: environmental education, coastal habitat restoration and strengthening environmental standards. Every spring they hold a native plant sale, too. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to NC Coastal Federation at 3609 NC 24 (Ocean), Newport, NC 28570. More info – and options for giving – at their website, nccoast.org

Sound Rivers – formerly, Neuse RiverKeeper Foundation
One pleasure of life in Oriental is how we can take a 5-minute walk from anywhere and soon be looking out on the Neuse River or one of its tributaries. That serenity is something we may take for granted. Not so for Sound Rivers – a combo of the former Neuse River and Pamlico River Foundations – which works to protect the river from polluters and has been working to give us more river access. The organization’s role as watchdog for water quality has become ever more important in recent years as the state scaled back enforcement. More funding would help To learn more or to donate directly on line, click here. Or write out a check to “Sound Rivers” (and if you wish, designate in the Memo that you’d want it to go toward work done by the “Lower Neuse Riverkeepers”) Checks may be mailed to Sound Rivers/Lower Neuse Riverkeepers, 2207 Trent Boulevard, New Bern, NC 28562 Questions? Call 252 637-7972

LIFT – Leadership Information For Tomorrow
LIFT is a youth leadership program for high school students in Pamlico County. For a dozen years, this Hodges Education Foundation program has taught high schoolers core skills such as Time Management and Organization, Conflict Resolution, Interviewing and Personal Finance – college-caliber experiences to help them successfully compete in the employment market. On a similar note, the Foundation also offers Study Skills training for 8th Graders about to enter high school. For more on the LIFT program visit PamlicoLeaders.org Tax deductible contributions to LIFT may be made directly on-line or mailed to Hodges Education Foundation, P.O. Box 743, Oriental, NC 28571. For more info, contact Patricia Hodges at the Hodges Education Foundation, 252-675-1196.

At the moment, there is no known cure for Parkinson’s Disease and the drugs taken to ease the symptoms become less effective as the disease progresses. But more and more research suggests that exercise – using movement to counter this movement disorder – can help. At the Village Club in Oriental, physical therapist Jennifer Smart set up a program of ‘forced exercise.” She bought some tandem bikes and then got strong area cyclists on the front seats where they set a pace that forces people with Parkinsons on the back seats to keep up and go faster and for longer than they could on their own. Over the past 2 years, more than a half dozen Oriental residents with PD have benefited from the Park-n-RIde program. To help maintain the bikes, the program and use exercise as therapy, tax – deductible donations may be written out to PCAC – Pamlico Coastal Activities Council. In the memo area, please write “Park-n-RIde” and mail to: Park-n-Ride Treasurer Rita Vorleiter, 365 Silver Acres Rd, Merritt, NC 28556.

Girls On The Run
This mentoring organization works with girls in grades 3-8 to help them make healthy choices as they head in to adolescence. The afterschool program trains them for a 5K run but goes beyond that to build self confidence. Mentor-coaches also help girls develop individual strengths, express emotions in a healthy way, and learn strategies to resist peer pressure temptations. Contributions from donors help to offset the costs the girls would pay to be part of the GOTR program. Your tax-deductible donation made out to Girls On The Run may be mailed to PO Box 674, Oriental, NC 28571. For more info on the organization and on how to volunteer, contact Council Director Betsy Hughes at gotrpamlico@gmail.com or (267) 566-4406. More info at their website, gotrpamlico.org.

Children’s Theater Workshop
2017 will be the 22nd season that the CTW holds the Summer Workshop at The Old Theater. The structured arts program led by a Drama Coach introduces children to theater skills such as acting fundamentals, learning to speak onstage, using drama exercises by playing theater games. In the 2 week sessions, they also see behind-the-scenes work, learn to work with groups of their peers, and make new friends. During the Spirit of Christmas, CTW produces the Live Nativity, directed by high school students. In the spring, CTW brings a traveling, professional acting troupe to the The Old Theater for a special, live performance for all 2nd grade classes in Pamlico County. Contributions are tax deductible and should be made out to CTW or Children’s Theater Workshop, and sent to PO Box 493, Oriental, NC 28571. Questions? Contact Yolanda Cristiani at 828-421-7981

Coastal Women’s Shelter
This program is based in New Bern, but serves Pamlico County families who’ve suffered domestic violence. Donations may be made on-line at the Coastal Women’s Shelter website www.coastalwomensshelter.org or mailed to 1333 S. Glenburnie Road. New Bern, NC 28562. For more info, call 252.638.4509

Hope Clinic
Hope Clinic provides free medical care to HOPE Clinic logo new more than 1,000 uninsured Pamlico County residents. Without Hope Clinic, these people would have to make the difficult choice between medical care and food or their utility bills. Hope would not exist without the energy of their volunteers and contributors – from doctors to nurses to dentists and lab techs. You can be a part of that effort. Checks may be sent to Hope Clinic, P.O. Box 728, Bayboro, NC 28515. You can even donate online via PayPal at the Hope Clinic website, or contact the Hope Clinic office at 745-5760.

Pamlico Musical Society
This all-volunteer group pulls off some great events, bringing performers to Oriental’s Old Theater. These are artists who simply would otherwise not perform in this village at the end of NC Hwy 55. Some of those artists also visit the schools, and share the music with younger ears. Pamlico Musical Society has kept the ticket prices affordable thanks to a combo of grants and donations, but these days, much of the grant money has dried up, so your contribution is ever more important.

Membership in the PaMuSo has its rewards, too. You can get early access to buying tickets for shows you especially want to see at a discounted price, and get invited to Meet the Artist receptions, based on membership level. In the larger scheme of things, the more funds that Pamlico Musical Society receives from all of us, the higher caliber performers it can bring to our stage. If you haven’t become a member of the Pamlico Music Society, this is your chance. (Another way to give: become a sponsor for a particular show.)

North Carolina Coastal Heritage Association
The newly-formed NCCHA works to encourage an appreciation for the history and cultural heritage of the communities along NC’s sounds. It supports seminars, lectures, tours, demonstrations, and publications. To donate directly on line, click here, or mail contributions to NCCHA at 3325 Hwy 306 South, Grantsboro, NC 28529. For more info, call 252-675-1230 or email info@nccoastalheritage.org

Hospice of Pamlico County
The Hospice of Pamlico County gives in-home comfort and care for the terminally ill. The not-for-profit Hospice of Pamlico County does not charge families for that care. Still, providing nurses and other volunteers and those who give family caregivers a break takes money. Your donation can help this independent agency offer that kind of comfort and service here in Pamlico County – www.hospiceofpamlico.org. Checks may be sent to Hospice of Pamlico County, PO Box 6, Bayboro, NC 28515. There are donations of another kind you can make, as well. The Hospice Thrift Shop welcomes your no-longer wanted clothing, household items, books, shoes, linens and collectibles, for which you may also receive a tax-deduction.

PAWS – Pamlico Animal Welfare Society
PAWS works to help the helpless and give a better life to cats and dogs in Pamlico County. One way it does that is through a low-cost spay/neuter program. PAWS does not have a shelter but it does work with the Pamlico prison in the “New Leash on Life” program where dogs from nearby shelters go thru 8 weeks of crate and obedience training from inmates and are then adopted out. It’s a win-win situation,dogs that would otherwise be doomed to euthanasia find a home, and inmates learn new skills. You can help out PAWS by sending your tax-deductible check to PAWS at PO Box 888, Oriental, NC 28571.

Oriental’s History Museum
For over a decade, Oriental’s History Museum has put together a treasure trove of displays and histories to help visitors — and residents — understand more of our town’s story. Not only does Oriental’s History Museum provide a link to the past, it also serves as a Welcome Center for tourists. What’s remarkable is that the museum and its volunteers do all this while relying entirely on donations from the public. (The Town’s budget does not finance the museum.) That means it’s up to residents and visitors alike to help pay for those operational costs. You can do that by becoming a member or just by making a donation. Checks may be made payable to: Oriental’s History Museum PO Box 103, Oriental, NC 28571. The museum – on Broad Street – also has a gift shop and sells plaques and markers for houses around town, proceeds of which also go to the museum.

Pamlico County Arts Council
This all-volunteer organization works to encourage and promote the arts in our county. Aside from channeling grants from the North Carolina Arts Council to various local arts groups (such as the Pamlico Musical Society and the Old Theater), the Council sponsors the annual Art on the Neuse Art & Music Festival, organizes monthly exhibitions featuring local artists at the Library and underwrites a rich array of visiting artist programs in our local schools and for the general public. For the Pamlico Arts Council to do that, it needs your support. You can help keep the local arts scene alive and vibrant by contributing – and becoming a member.. Memberships start at just $20 and are tax-deductible. Checks may be sent to PCAC at PO Box 104, Bayboro, NC 28515

Habitat For Humanity, Pamlico County
Habitat works to build homes for low-income residents in the County. Some of that money comes from the Habitat “ReStore” which is run totally by volunteers. After operating expenses and after a small percentage of profits are sent to Habitat International, the remainder of the collected funds are reinvested into building homes here. If you wish to donate, please make checks payable to HFHPC and mark it as a “Donation”. Checks may be mailed to PO Box 3, Grantsboro, NC 28529 … or dropped off at the ReStore located 10766 NC Highway 55 next door to Piggly Wiggly.

Public Radio East
Many of us moved to Oriental and Pamlico County appreciating the ‘away from it all’ remoteness of Eastern NC. That said, many of us also have come to appreciate links to the world beyond Pamlico County. That’s why you hear Public Radio East on radios all over town. Like the internet, PRE gives you ties to the larger world, while at the same time making you feel part of a community.

PRE brings you NPR news, Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk and music — but in an odd way of doing business, it asks you to pay whatever you want for it. About 1 in 10 listeners contributes. (See above, odd business plan.) If you appreciate discussion of issues without all that shouting, you’ll grasp this quiet request to become part of that 10 percent who pays to keep PRE going. PRE says that folks here in the Oriental area make up one of the station’s strongest areas of support. It all happens one supporter at a time… Click here for a pledge form from Public Radio East. (And even if you don’t live here, but only come to visit, you can still support the station you listen to when you’re here.)

Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves Outreach
PCFLO, as it’s called, feeds the hungry in Pamlico County. The need for fishes and loaves – and Fishes and Loaves – grew a lot in recent years. Hundreds of households now depend on it.To feed all those people, PCFLO conducts food drives, but your check can stretch the food budget even further. That’s because with the money from generous donors like you, PCFLO can purchase food at bulk rates from a regional food bank, and help feed that many more families. Your tax-deductible donation – made out to PCFLO – may be sent to PCFLO, 1149 White Farm Road, Oriental, NC, 28571.

Thanks for contributing to these organizations that contribute so much.

You can give in your name, or, as a gift to someone else, in their name. That charitable giving may help ease your tax burden, but no matter your motivation, your financial contribution is much appreciated.

Posted Tuesday December 27, 2016 by Melinda Penkava

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