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The Season of Giving
The List of Area Non-Profits That Could Use Your Donations
December 2, 2021

T
here are a lot of worthy organizations out there. This holiday season, as you consider which to give to, it’s important to remember the organizations here in Oriental and Pamlico County, and the impact COVID-19 has had on their missions.

These non-profit groups keep their focus local. If you’ve been in Oriental for more than a few hours, chances are you’ve been asked if you’d like to help out. That’s because non-profit groups can’t do it alone. They need volunteers and financial support.

This season, consider providing a helping hand locally (and in most cases, getting a tax-deduction in return). Here is a quick guide to some of the organizations serving Oriental and Pamlico County.


Friends of the Pamlico County Library
The Pamlico County Library’s been a busy place in this year. They’ve purchased an existing building and are working to move from their current location (shared space with the high school) into their own space. The Library has also worked to keep lending going with curbside pickup during the early months of the pandemic.

But the library offers more than books – there are classes, community meetings, 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. This year the Friends of the Pamlico County Library are helping raise money to convert the newly purchased building – from a former fast food restaurant into a stand-alone Library. 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 Parkinson’s Network
A support network for those caring for or diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in Pamlico County. In addition to support group meetings, members share information about PD exercises, treatments, new innovations, and often hear from doctors and other experts working in the field. To learn more, including how to donate visit pamlicoparkinsons.org. You can also call 252-675-0180, or email info@pamlicoparkinsons.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

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.

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 pilings and joists under the building, as well as roof leaks and chimneys.

HCCC President Teresa Badger says she is grateful to “our friends with big hearts” who made those Phase 1 repairs possible. 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. Other Phase 2 jobs ahead: painting the building and rewiring it. Checks written to “HCCC” may be sent to HCCC, In care of Teresa Badger, President, PO Box 616, Oriental, NC 28571

Youth Navigating Towards Opportunity
“Youth Navigating Towards Opportunity is a homegrown community organization that mentors and caters to the needs of young people, who are often below or at poverty level and frequently classified at-risk, in order to provide vital aid and resources, such as school supplies, tutoring, public education, etc., in an attempt to inspire and provide a safe, productive outlet for the youth within our community.” Find out more, including how to donate, here.

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 Oriental, it was members of the NC Coastal Federation that gave, and helped get, grants to restore Whittaker Point. 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

PCDRC, Pamlico County Disaster Relief Coalition
Pamlico County Disaster Relief Coalition helps those in the county who have suffered damage or destruction to their homes as a results of storms, winds, and hurricanes. It can take a long time to bounce back from the devastation these events can cause. PCDRC is here to help out. Volunteers needed. Contact Bob Fuller at 919-606-6371, Linda McDonald at 252-229-0437, or email pcdrc2019@centurylink.net for more info and options for giving.

The Old Theater
Oriental’s Old Theater was as impacted as any other organization this year. The building that started life as a movie theater in the 1940’s is the go-to place in Oriental for concerts, plays, movies, children’s programs and a variety of civic, business, club and charity events – events that were all cancelled this year during the pandemic. But the Old Theater Corporation volunteers have been able to come up with some creative solutions by hosting an online talent show and transitioning their Friday Flicks into outdoor movie events.

But a few small events do not make up for the loss of nearly a year’s income. You can buy a yearly Old Theater Membership starting at $30 — a gift that keeps giving, because it gets you discounts on many theater evetns. 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.

Dottie Gray Ambulance Fund/Oriental Regional County Ambulance
The Dottie Gray Ambulance Fund and ORCA help fund emergency care in the Oriental area. With emergency calls, every second counts and thanks to Dottie Gray & ORCA, a Pamlico Rescue ambulance and paramedic team has been situated at the Oriental fire station for 7 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, readying them for an ambulance and the more advanced care they can get when the paramedics do arrive from Bayboro. Dottie Gray & ORCA recently helped the Oriental First Responders buy defibrillators for every restaurant in Oriental. In years past, they helped outfit a Quick Response Vehicle for local emergency responders.

Donations for this charity are 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

Neuse Neighbors Network
Neuse Neighbors Network is a local, non-profit organization dedicated to helping seniors “age in place”. In 2021, 83 volunteers provided over 144 services to members. Recently Neuse Neighbors Network implemented a Sponsorship Fund for elderly individuals who need the services but are unable to pay the annual membership fee.

You or your organization can contribute to Neuse Neighbors Network’s Sponsorship fund in any denomination to help these seniors. Donate online by clicking here, or send a check to Neuse Neighbors Network Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 408, Oriental NC 28571.

For more information on the benefits of membership in Neuse Neighbors Network, the Sponsorship program, or volunteering your time, call 252-665-8807, email neuseneighbors@gmail.com or visit neuseneighbors.helpfulvillage.com.

Children’s Theater Workshop
The Children’s Theater Workshop has had to put its Summer Workshop and Live Nativity on hold this year as a result of COVID-19 concerns. But they are hoping to be able to start again in the spring, when 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 More info – and options for giving – at their website, nccoast.org

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, and it’s “New Leash on Life” program – where dogs from nearby shelters go thru 8 weeks of crate and obedience training from Pamlico Prison inmates and are then adopted out – is on hold due to COVID-19. In the meantime, PAWS is still finding homes for animals in need. You can help out PAWS by sending your tax-deductible check to PAWS at PO Box 888, Oriental, NC 28571.

Heartworks
For over a decade, HeartWorks has worked to fill a big gap. The youth center provides many otherwise under-served 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 – that’s the name of its building on Hwy 55 in Bayboro. For more of what Karen Prince and the others at Heartworks are working on, visit their website, heartworksnc.org. where you may donate directly on line. Meanwhile, checks made out to HeartWorks, may be sent to PO Box 365, Bayboro NC 28515.

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, particularly this year. 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, PO Box 771, Oriental, NC 28571. You can also donate online here.

Oriental’s History Museum
Oriental’s History Museum continues to 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 Foundation for the Aged, Inc.
PCFA is a non-profit foundation which raises funds to help local elderly people in need. When money budgeted by the County has been depleted, PCFA steps in to fund the delivery of nutritional midday meals, or the building of exterior home ramps. It also supplies electric fans in summer and other such needs for the health and well-being of senior citizens throughout the year. Donations may be made to Pamlico County Foundation for the Aged, Inc., PO Box 184, Alliance, NC 28509.

Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival
ofpmf logo Over the course of just a few years, this event that transforms porches into stages, has become Oriental’s biggest fall attraction. It may seem a simple concept – getting musicians to play on porches, but making all of those free live performances happen requires the year-round work of a crew of volunteers — and money. Though there was no music festival in 2020, plans are underway for the October 2021 festival.

When you donate, you can enjoy a tax deduction, along with knowing you helped make the annual OFPMF happen on that first weekend in October next year. Checks may be written out to OFPMF and mailed to: Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Inc., P.O. Box 775, Oriental, NC 28571 More on the OFPMF at its website.

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 as much of the grant money has dried up, 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.)

Habitat For Humanity, Pamlico County
Habitat for Humanity is a global non-profit working at the local level to build homes for low-income residents. All donations go directly to Habitat for Humanity in Pamlico County. Find out more about their work here. Send your donations to: PO Box 3, Grantsboro, NC 28529. You can also call 252-745-0609, or email hfhpamlico@gmail.com.

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.

Prime Time
Prime Time provides services and activities promoting the physical, social, mental and spiritual well-being of the “50 plus” community in Oriental and surrounding areas, helping residents sustain their independence and quality of life. A Nurse Advocate helps individuals and families navigate the healthcare system. Volunteers provide transport to doctor appointments and pick up medicines when needed. There are activities to keep residents engaged – such as the Lunch & Learn sessions, Health & Wellness seminars, and grief support – many of which have gone online this year. (More details in the Prime Time brochure, here.)

Many of these programs and services are offered at little or no cost to the participants. Prime Time had been funded by the Duke Endowment, but that funding is no longer available, making public contributions all the more important. Send them to Prime Time, PO Box 70, Oriental, NC 28571. For more info about the Prime Time program or how you can volunteer, call Debora Steenson, Prime Time Director at 252-675-0909.

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 (like the Pamlico Musical Society and the Old Theater), the Arts Council organizes monthly events, puts on the annual Dragon Burn, and underwrites a rich array of visiting artist programs in 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

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

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

Public Radio East
Many moved to Oriental and The County appreciating the ‘away from it all’ remoteness of Eastern NC. That said, many also have come to appreciate connections to the world beyond Pamlico County. Public Radio East is one of those links.

PRE brings you NPR news, a slew of weekend shows and music — and it asks you to pay whatever you want for it. Only about 1 in 10 listeners contributes. If you appreciate discussion of issues without all that shouting, you’ll grasp this quiet request to become part of that 10 percent. Listening folks here in the Oriental area (and visitors) 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.

North Carolina Coastal Heritage Association
The 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.

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 Thursday December 2, 2021 by Allison DeWeese


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