Season of giving

Published 5:25 pm Friday, December 22, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – Christmas is a season typically full of joy. Yet there are some individuals dealing with medical issues that prevent them from enjoying everything this special time of the year has to offer.

But there’s always hope for a brighter tomorrow and that’s the rallying cry of a local business that prides itself in giving back. After all, it is the season of giving.

At their annual Christmas party held Dec. 14 in Murfreesboro, Jernigan Oil Company / Duck Thru Food Stores presented two checks totaling $65,000 to benefit hospitals that specialize in healing cancer patients and children.

Company officials and employees presented a $50,000 check to the UNC Hospital Lineberger Cancer Center and a $15,000 check to the Shriners Childrens Hospital.

The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is a cancer research and treatment center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Serving patients at the N.C. Basnight Cancer Hospital, UNC Lineberger is the only public comprehensive cancer center in the state of North Carolina.

The Shriners Hospitals offer pediatric specialty care in Orthopedics, including spinal and spinal cord injuries, craniofacial conditions, colorectal and gastrointestinal care, and burn care. These life changing services are offered in more than 20 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

In August of this year, all Duck Thru locations were involved in the Corona Cares program. Those stores offered customers to purchase cardboard “limes” that benefit the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. With the purchase of each lime, customers were able to select an individual to honor from their purchase and the name of that individual was written on the lime and posted inside the store.

The Corona Cares program offers support to patients who experience financial hardships. This can be caused by a range of issues, from the expenses of traveling long distances for appointments at the Cancer Hospital to missing work while receiving treatment, to the challenges of paying insurance copays while also covering routine monthly costs, such as utility bills, rent and groceries.

With this year’s donation of $50,000, Duck Thru stores have raised over $220,000 toward this program since 2010 with plans on continuing these efforts for years to come. “That money is not possible without our hardworking team members and the best customers around,” stated Miles Harrell of Jernigan Oil / Duck Thru Stores.

“You guys have grown your fundraising efforts each and every year,” said Tim Skinner of Coastal Beverage, a partner in the Corona Cares program. “We appreciate what you do. Every dollar raised goes to the hospital to help local people. There are no administrative costs withheld.”

From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, Duck Thru participated in the Shell Community Pump Program at all of its Shell locations.

Harrell explained that the Shell Community Pump Program allows different Shell locations across the country who choose to participate to assign one of their fueling dispensers as The Giving Pump. A portion of the sales from each of The Giving Pumps will be given to the children’s charity of the Shell retailer’s choice.

“We chose the Shriners Childrens Hospitals,” Harrell said. “We designated one fuel pump at each of our Shell locations. For every gallon of fuel pumped through that dispenser, we donated one penny to the Shriners Children’s Hospital.”

For 2023, Jernigan Oil / Duck Thru raised $15,000. That came on the heels of raising $10,000 in 2022, which was the first year of this program.

“We appreciate our team members who worked hard on advertising the Shell Giving Pump and we look forward to more years to come benefitting the Shriner’s Hospital for Children,” Harrell said. “We can’t thank them [Shriners] enough for all they do for children and their families.

On hand last week to accept the donation were Larry Barnes, First Ceremonial Master of the Sudan Shriners, and Walter Waters, Captain of the Sudan Roadrunners.

“We thank Jernigan Oil Company and Duck Thru stores, the Harrell family, and Shell, and you for helping raise these funds that will help the hospital and the Roadrunner group,” Barnes stated. “We have 22 hospitals supported by the Shriners and your funds are very much appreciated. Your donation will mean a lot to a lot of people.”

“Thank ya’ll for everything you’ve done for the Roadrunners. We can’t do what we do without you and your generosity,” said Waters whose group carries children and their families to a Shriners Hospital for their appointments.

Barnes added that Shriners are committed to reaching as many children as possible, wherever they may live, and offering them a unique, patient-centered, wrap-around care, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

“Your donation will directly support care provided in our health system, but will also help to provide free transportation to any of our locations that can best meet the needs of the child,” Barnes explained. “We are truly grateful for your generosity in supporting the children and families we serve.”

To learn more, visit Donations are welcome and can be made through at

Sudan Shriners Larry Barnes and Walter Waters (front row, center, left and right) accepted a $15,000 donation last week from Jernigan Oil / Duck Thru Food Stores, funds that will benefit Shriners Childrens Hospitals. Also shown are (front row) Joy Lee and Nicole Williams, along with back row, from left, Miranda Whitby, Miles Harrell, April Lynn, Connie Arrowood, Casey Nichols, Danielle Howard, Michael Harrell, and Allie Jernigan. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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