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Heritage Club supports project to help students in need

Monarch’s Heritage Club recently collected money and presented the funds to the Edenton-Chowan Food Book Bag Buddies01Pantry to help ensure local students have more in their back packs than just books and school supplies.

A nonprofit that provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges from more than 50 North Carolina counties, Monarch offers a day program for individuals in Edenton-Chowan through its Heritage Club located in downtown Edenton.

Several of the people supported who attend Monarch’s Heritage Club wanted to help area children who, unfortunately, go without enough to eat away from school. To offer support to these students and their families, staff and participants of Monarch’s day program were able to do so through a community effort – the Book Bag Buddies program – started by Edenton-Chowan Schools with support from local churches. The initiative helps selected students by sending them home each Friday with book bags that contain meals and snacks.

Individuals and organizations, like Monarch’s Heritage Club, are supporting the effort by donating food and funds administered by the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry. The Monarch group presented $75 to Ray Wells, director of the Food Pantry, to support the book bag program. Wells said the club’s first contribution will provide a week’s worth of meals for 15 children. Participants of the Heritage Club who are collecting money for the program are thrilled they are able to support this important community initiative.

“Their enthusiasm and willingness to help others, especially those less fortunate, is inspiring to anyone,” explained Cynthia Spencer, a developmental specialist at Monarch who helped to oversee the club’s efforts. “We commend Lakesha Tillett, Nicholas Winslow, Darlene Freeman and Artrice Heckstall for their efforts to collect money for this cause to support area children.”

Nothing Fancy Café in Edenton provided the space and table and chairs to support the group’s effort and to give the individuals more of a presence so they can raise awareness and funds for the Book Bag Program. Spencer said the group was excited to help. They plan to continue to collect funds for the project.

Monarch provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges from more than 50 North Carolina counties. Monarch is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership and is CABHA certified. The agency is an affiliate chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn how Monarch is “Helping Dreams Take Flight” for people in our communities, call (800) 230-7525 or visit

Pictured above (l-r): Cynthia Spencer, developmental specialist at Monarch, Ray Wells, of the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry, and participants of Monarch’s Heritage Club Artrice Heckstall, Darlene Freeman and Nicholas Winslow smile for a photo following the presentation to Wells for the local Book Bag Buddies project.

Media contact: Natasha A. Suber, (704) 986-1582 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




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