A lot of us have wonderful childhood memories of Christmas and the Holiday Season, unfortunately, there are many children who won’t this year. Some may even still be living in shelters from Hurricane Florence and others are still in shock as their lives have drastically changed. Laura McGovern and the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plains are trying to help lift their spirits. You can too!
If you don’t know Laura, she’s very civic minded and loves our community! She’s also the owner and stylist of Magnolia Jane Salon. With the help from our local Boys and Girls Club, they’ve created an Angel Tree.
When asked about the Angel Tree, Laura shared:
“This year I learned how devastating a hurricane can be first hand, and how lasting its’ impact is. I have lived in New Bern for almost 8 years after moving from Charlotte and have been fortunate enough to not experience the magnitude of destruction hurricanes can do to eastern North Carolina until this year. Flo came in with a vengeance and filled our home with 4 feet of storm surge, leaving me with feelings I had never experienced. The pain and heartbreak that I continue to battle has been soothed with love and genuine care from an amazing community that truly came together and helped each other begin to rebuild. I never felt alone, and I never had an ounce of doubt that our community would rebuild and continue to thrive and flourish.
I know there are still lots of people in our town that are hurting and inundated with an overwhelming sense of chaos, especially the children whose families were impacted. It’s hard to understand and grasp fully what is going on as an adult, and I can’t imagine how it feels to a child when their life has been so greatly turned upside down. Our goal this year is to make Christmas magical for children in our community who were directly impacted by hurricane Florence.
We need your help to make this happen. I had the idea while sitting in the airport reflecting back on childhood memories and I remembered the Angel Trees my family use to shop for each holiday season, we would hand select items specifically for a little boy or girl that was the same age as me, that wasn’t as fortunate as my family. It helped me truly understand the importance of lifting up others around me and spreading love, especially during the holiday season. After all, Christmas is about celebrating love, as we rejoice in the birth of Christ who taught us to love one another, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
I reached out to Taylor Shannon at Boys and Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plains and asked her to send over a list of children we could help during the holiday season and she had the kiddos write down their wish lists. When I opened her reply in my inbox, I was speechless, and the waterworks started flowing. It wasn’t what I expected. The list did not have Barbies, makeup, footballs, train sets, or any other toys…it was a list that included kitchen utensils, shower curtains, bath mats, pots & pans, dishes, bunk beds, bed sheets, a hospital bed for their grandmother, towels, school supplies and lots of household necessities. My heart sank.
One of the families has been in 3 different shelters and still does not have confirmed permanent housing lined up. Work is not finished here in our sweet little town. People are still struggling, including the children, who still have to get up and go to school every day while living in unstable circumstances.
I’m devoted to making Christmas magical for these families, and I know that the New Bern community is always able to do amazing things together. Our angel tree is full of boys and girls that would greatly appreciate and be grateful for your help add a little sparkle to their life, and to help give them and their families hope, faith and courage. If you would like to adopt an Angel, please stop by Magnolia Jane Salon at 236 Middle Street on the back of the building by the Bear City Fudge Company. This is a great thing to do with your children, I remember doing it with my mom growing up and I’ve never forgotten it.
I also would like to purchase bunk beds and possibly a stove for one of the families. If you have one you are selling, please let me know.
We also need donations for their holiday party. If you would like to donate gift cards to be used for drinks, food, decorations and goodie bags you may drop that off at the salon as well.
We thank you for whatever way you are able to help, and appreciate you joining us in wrapping families of our community in need in love and hope.”
For more information, call Magnolia Jane Salon at 252-514-4867.