Rutherford Weekly

March 24, 2022

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

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As a threat of rain was becoming more evident, the Leadership Rutherford Class of 2021-22 didn't allow a few raindrops spoil their excitement. Standing beside the Ruff'ton Roots garden in Rutherfordton, the Leadership Class offi cially opened the Rutherford Rise Blessing Box near Rutherford Regional Medical Center. "It's a pretty amazing occurrence to have so many community leaders gathered in one space, and it's an honor to be among all of you right now," said class member Magnolia Long, who also serves as the community development director for the Town of Rutherfordton. The Blessing Box stands off the ground, complete with shelves for stacking food and was built by class members. Those who visit the Blessing Box can take food or can replenish the box. In Rutherford County there are 3,310 food insecure children and a total 10,400 food insecure people in the County. "Thank you to Michael Lyda at ICC, for not only sharing your knowledge and workshop with us to build this box...You could've easily built this pantry in an hour, but only the Leadership Rutherford Class of 2022 would be able to stretch this into a two week-long endeavor," Magnolia said. Magnolia thanked all the Ruff'ton Roots volunteers for allowing the Blessing Box to be placed at the garden and for agreeing to allocate money to the operating budget to ensure the box stayed packed with easily accessible food. Several Ruff'ton Roots volunteers also attended. "I am in constant awe of the commitment of our volunteers because of their endless dedication to increasing food access inside and outside of the town limits of Rutherfordton. Each volunteer has incredible strengths that drive this garden forward, and I attribute the success and impact solely and completely to our volunteers." Magnolia said in the beginning, Leadership Rutherford was just an opportunity to further her professional development. "I had no idea that it would have an impact on my life in the ways it did. I've formed incredible friendships with remarkable people, and I've left each class day with what seems like a billion ideas for new projects that would help our county as a whole. But I think more importantly, Leadership Rutherford embodies this concept that I've been recently seeing day-in and day-out: Collaboration. This collaboration between people, agencies, organizations, businesses, and everything in between is what's going to create a lasting impact on our community," she said. Joining Magnolia in the Class of 2021-22 were R.J. Aiken, Melissa Ailiff, Tamara Black, Saundra Clay, Maria Davis, Bryanna Glover, Nathan Hoyle, Avery Humphries, In-Yong Lee, Chris LeRoy, Alfreda Lindsay, Owen McDaniel, Leslie Smith, Sarah Thomson, Chris Weeks and Tricia Wheat. "I am so proud to be a part of, not only Leadership Rutherford, but this amazing cohort of individuals that surround me right now," Magnolia said. "This cohort is made up of change makers, innovators, visionaries, and advocates, who truly shine beautiful things within our county, our towns, and the people who live here." Magnolia said the Blessing Box will serve people traveling, the people who are discharged from the hospital or people waiting at the bus stop across the street. The Leadership Rutherford Class of 2022 wanted to shine their light on fellow community members by meeting an immediate need of readily-consumable food or hygiene products, she explained. Long said when community leaders of different ages, backgrounds and professionals are brought together in one space and have the opportunity to learn about the challenges that face the community, or resources the community already has. The inside of the box is painted a bright yellow, the color of Ruff'ton Roots and "John Deere tractors," she said. "But the yellow represents the love and light that shines from everyone here today," she added. Henson's Building Materials and Lowe's Home Improvement donated most of the raw materials for the project, PNC Bank assisted with donations and Florence Baptist Church members provided the fi rst food and hygiene products placed in the Blessing Box. "I knew Rutherford County was something special. It wasn't so apparent to me when I started working here, but as I began working and meeting people, this light began to show. People here in Rutherford County are fi lled with so much passion and drive to make this a better world to live in and be a part," she added. There are similar Blessing Boxes placed at the First Baptist Church, Forest City, First Baptist Church, Spindale and near the Thermal Belt Rail Trail at McDonalds in Spindale. There are other Blessing Boxes that serve to help provide food to those who need food. In the future these words will be painted at the box: Leave what you can, Take what you need, Let's lend a helping hand, Because that's how we lead. ISSUE NO. 12 • March 24, 2022 ISSUE NO. 12 • March 24, 2022 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 Our 30 th Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers 345 South Broadway, Forest City 828-245-8067 IN HOUSE FINANCING IN HOUSE FINANCING M O O RE ' S AUTO S ALES ©Community First Media Community First Media BRING YOUR VEHICLE BY FOR US TO LOOK AT! NO APPRAISAL FEE CHARGED! Top Top Dollar Paid! Dollar Paid! YOUR VEHICLE YOUR VEHICLE We Want to Buy We Want to Buy 6P LW K 7 UDG L QJ 3RV W STP 828-289-6699 WE BUY GOLD 131 W Main St., Spindale Beside Barley's $$$CASH ON THE SPOT WE HAVE MONEY FOR YOU BUYING & SELLING ANYTHING OF VALUE, ANTIQUES, JEWELRY, MORE! OVER 30 YEARS OF SERVICE! PAWN SHOP Article Provided By: Jean Gordon. A blessing box is a beautiful way to give to those who are A blessing box is a beautiful way to give to those who are less fortunate and makes for a less fortunate and makes for a happier community. happier community. — Magnolia Long — Magnolia Long Blessing Box near hospital available for public RUTHERFORD COUNTY'S ONLY WEEKLY NEWSPAPER! RUTHERFORD COUNTY'S ONLY WEEKLY NEWSPAPER! Class member Saundra Clay welcomes more than two dozen people to the ribbon cutting. Magnolia Long speaks to the crowd with words of inspiration. Bryanna Glover, one of the youngest class members — a Chase High School student— places food items in the box that are offered free to anyone who needs food. Those who would like to donate food or hygiene items are encouraged to do so. Rutherfordton Mayor Jimmy Dancy cut the ribbon that offi cially opened the Rutherford Rise Blessing Box located at Ruff'ton Roots near Rutherford Regional Medical Center. With Dancy are members of the 2021-22 Leadership Rutherford Class, sponsors of the class. The public is invited to take food or leave food for others as they drive by or walk by the box. Class members packing items in the box.

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