WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

‘Buddy Buckets’ greet new public housing residents

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Thanks to the BB&T Lighthouse Project, new families moving into public housing units in Wilson will have some housecleaning — and housewarming — supplies to welcome them.

A Lighthouse Project team joined with the Wilson Crisis Center to gather cleaning, laundry and personal hygiene items to be placed into buckets and given to the Wilson Housing Authority to distribute to new residents. The Wilson Crisis Center is one of the partner agencies with the United Way and provides a 24-hour, 7-day crisis line.

Nancy Sallenger, executive director of the Wilson Crisis Center, said the buckets and items in them — which she calls “Buddy Buckets” — are both a housewarming gift and a practical reminder of the need to keep a home clean.

“This project is essential to our community so we can assist in keeping our people healthy and assist all in having a better quality of life,” Sallenger said. “A list of instructions is placed in each bucket with the items to guide the recipient in promoting good health and cleanliness.”

To stuff the buckets with each item, Sallenger received assistance from the BB&T employees, youth volunteers who staff the center’s Teen HelpLine and public housing residents of C. Bruce Rose Plaza who assist the crisis center with tasks around the office. The crisis center’s office is in the basement of C. Bruce Rose Plaza, which is owned by the Wilson Housing Authority.

“While the baskets contain just a few supplies, they are reminders to the individuals and families receiving them that they do have the support of the community behind them and that there are people who want them to succeed in their new home,” said Sallenger.

One of the new residents getting a bucket was Theodore Richardson, who has recently moved into the Whitfield Homes.

Richardson chose the cleaning supplies bucket because he said he needed them to get started with taking care of his new home and thanked everyone involved for helping him with the supplies.

Michelle Hargrove, the manager for Whitfield Homes, said she has already passed out nine baskets to new residents and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“This is a wonderful thing for our new residents,” Hargrove said. “It is truly a blessing.”

Georgia Edson, who led the BB&T Lighthouse project team that worked on the Buddy Bucket project, said she is “honored to work for a company that allows us the opportunity to give back to our community through the BB&T Lighthouse Project.

“This allows those in need to be provided with day-to-day necessities that others may take for granted. Having the opportunity to support our community is gratifying, and considered a privilege,” Edson said. “I look forward to serving our community through the Lighthouse Projects for years to come.”

Kelly Vick, president and CEO of the Wilson Housing Authority, said the housing authority is grateful for the work that BB&T and the Wilson Crisis Center did to put these new resident baskets together.

“These baskets do a lot to let people know that they are not alone,” Vick said. “We all need help from time to time and for these families it is good for them to know that the community is looking out for them and that they have a place to turn to in the crisis center if they have a problem.”

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