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Eastern Star chapter donates blankets, more to homeless shelter

Rowan Helping Ministries

Local members of the Order of the Eastern Star arrived at Rowan Helping Ministries’ shelter on Monday, their vehicles filled with fluffy white pillows and soft winter blankets. Grabbing up their cargo, they raced inside to avoid the cold wind and misty rain, but the drab weather could not dampen their holiday spirits.

They were on a Christmas mission to give the shelter pillows, pillowcases and blankets for new guests seeking temporary housing during the holidays.

Members of the Rockwell Chapter No. 317 Order of the Eastern Star of North Carolina are no strangers to Rowan Helping Ministries. They donate food and clothing several times each year.

But on a recent tour of the shelter, chapter member Shirley Cranfield learned that shelter guests who do not bring pillows and blankets with them are given those items only if the shelter has received them as donations.

Rockwell Chapter No. 317 collected the items for several months, delivering about 25 of each item, including homemade pillowcases, on Monday. This project was under the direction of Cranfield and Phillip Lentz.

“We are very grateful for this donation, because our budget does not allow us to purchase blankets and pillows,” said Kyna Grubb, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries. “Unlike sheets, these items cannot be re-used, so we give them to guests when they leave. We are always thankful when we have a supply of these items to distribute to new guests.”

The shelter at the Robertson-Stanback Center opened in May and can serve up to about 100 overnight guests, Grubb told the five chapter members who delivered the items. The shelter provides temporary overnight shelter, meals and related services to those who have no alternative nighttime residence. Shelter guests staying more than three nights must be working with staff to develop and implement a plan for becoming self-sufficient. Rowan Helping Ministries’ New Tomorrows Program provides to shelter guests practical life skills, work skills, financial management classes and other experiences designed to help them create positive change in their lives.

“This Shelter is a vital part of our community,” Cranford said. “The Rockwell Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star is blessed to be a part of it by giving food and clothing during the year in addition to this recent donation.”

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