The Heart of Giving

St. James Service Club Flea MarketEach year a small local organization awards funds to Boys and Girls Homes along with about twenty other non-profits who are making lives better in our corner of Southeastern NC. Their efforts may never make the state or national news, but they represent the heart of giving and service.

Boys and Girls Homes has been privileged to be associated with this group of tireless volunteers from the St. James Plantation community. They work year-round to raise the funds to support local charities. Many of the members did not grow up or work in NC, but when they retired they got here as fast as they could. Then they jump into the effort to bless the whole community.

It begins with the collection of furniture and other used household items through the fall, winter and into early spring. When someone calls to donate they spring into action. They collect many items by providing a pickup and store all donations at a storage facility until the BIG event.

Then they plan, organize and execute the now famous St. James Service Club Flea Market. This is a wonderful collection of premium couches, chairs, dining room sets, bed room furniture, outdoor supplies and indoor decorations that would complement almost any home. In their efforts, they provide five levels of service to Southeastern NC.

Their first level of service to the community is the repurposing of so many high value and beautiful items for the home, reducing what might otherwise go sadly unused and sent to the landfill.

Their second level of service is to offer these premium goods at bargain prices to benefit their neighbors near and far.

Their third level of service is the helpful attitudes and friendly smiles they offer to each other, customers and outside volunteers. Boys and Girls Homes is honored to be a part of this “flea market” day with members of our staff and residential boys helping customers to load their new prizes for the trip home. The St. James volunteers go out of their way in particular to make our boys feel welcomed and highly valued.

Their fourth level of service is the donation of all unsold items to Boys and Girls Homes to be used by the Homes or sold at Boys and Girls Homes Country Store.

The fifth level of service is using all the proceeds from the flea market to award scholarships to local students. Proceeds from other fund raising events are awarded to various local non-profits such as Boys and Girls Homes. Through these grants, they make the community better for children, seniors, students, animals and those with special medical needs. Boys and Girls Homes often benefits from these funds.

Once the donations are awarded and great work recognized the St James Service Club members take a deep breath, pause for about 10 minutes then begin the whole process again for the next year. They give so much in time and treasure; they benefit so many on so many levels. They are the heart of giving. Boys and Girls Homes is blessed to be their partner and benefactor.

Mike Garrell is the Director of Development for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

Learn how to become a caring angel for the children at B&GH.

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