Better to give than receive

Published 10:27 am Tuesday, December 27, 2011

JACKSON — The Northampton County Office on Aging was on the end of some good cheer this holiday season.

Recently, the department that administers programs that assist the elderly was the recipient of two separate donations totaling more than $2,000.

Last week, Roanoke Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Garysburg donated $1,150 and another donation of $500 and toiletries and other supplies for the Family Caregiver Support Program was made from KapStone Paper and Packaging Company and United Steelworkers 9-425. The company will match that amount with another donation in January.

The donations were a pleasant surprise for Debby Warren, director of the Northampton County Office on Aging, and Mary McClain, coordinator of the Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP).

Warren said in the past the agency has benefited from donations from individuals in the community, but typically not this much around this time of year.

“We’ve never had this much around Christmas,” she said. “It really does touch your heart. …We’re so appreciative to Roanoke Salem and KapStone.”

For the caregivers who take part in FCSP, the donation will not only benefit their program, but boost their morale.

“I’m a caregiver,” McClain said. “I know it means a lot when someone shows support and encouragement.”

The Office on Aging administers a variety of programs that assists senior citizens in the county.

FCSP is a program that provides resources to caregivers providing care for an older adult (60 or over) or for a person with Alzheimer’s Disease or related brain disorder. The program also assists caregivers 55 or older who are raising a child under the age of 18 or an adult with a disability.

Warren said the KapStone funds will go to FCSP as intended while Roanoke-Salem’s donation will go toward the agency’s general programs.

“We’re going to use the money wisely and stretch it out and help as many (people) as we can,” Warren said.

McClain said she was looking forward to being able to deliver the supplies to the caregivers.

“I’m very excited about it,” said McClain. “We’re going to try to distribute the supplies as soon as possible.”

Barbara Sessoms with Roanoke Salem Missionary Baptist Church, where her husband, the Rev. Robert Sessoms, is Pastor, said each month the church takes on a mission.

“We help those that are less fortunate than we are,” she said.

Sessoms credits church member Ruby Ward for suggesting Office on Aging as the subject of that monthly mission and donations from the church’s members were collected.
Sessoms said the church was glad to help the agency out and encouraged others to give back to those in their community.

“It’s always better to give than to receive, it makes you feel good, it gives you a feeling you can’t express,” Sessoms said. KapStone and United Steelworkers 9-425 collaborated on a holiday public service project to benefit the Family Caregiver Support Programs of both Northampton County Office on Aging and the Halifax County Council on Aging.

According to a press release, each year the Roanoke Rapids Mill selects a local charity as the benefactor of their holiday public service project.  Employees donated $1,000 which was matched with a corporate gift of $1,000 to support the services and valuable programs offered by these organizations.  Each office will receive a donation of $1,000.  In addition, KapStone employees donated toiletries and other supplies that will be used by family caregivers served by the programs.

The Northampton County Family Caregiver Support Group meets at 11 a.m. each third Thursday of the month at the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center near Jackson.

The Northampton County Council on Aging meets at 10 a.m. each second Friday of the month at the Cultural and Wellness Center.

For more information about the Northampton County Office on Aging or the FCSP call (252) 534-1668.