More than 100 people in need received a Thanksgiving meal last week thanks to an organization aiming to bring awareness to — and quell — Richmond County’s drug issues.
Steve’s Wings for Humanity, with help from volunteers and donors, was able to feed 130 people — including veterans, homeless and those in active addiction — around the county last Thursday, according to founder Melissa Schoonover.
The plates included ham, turkey, deviled eggs, green beans, mac and cheese, stuffing, canned soft drinks and a variety of desserts.
Although they were set up at VFW Post 4203, a lot of the plates were delivered throughout the community.
“We laughed and hugged people from the streets that were homeless, dealing with active addiction, and more but it was so beautiful and warm to spend a few minutes with all of them,” Schoonover said in a Facebook post.
Schoonover said many of those who received a plate “were thanking us repeatedly” while they were trying to eat.
In a Facebook post, Schoonover said the annual giving was started four years ago by the late Janet Quick.
“Janet cared so much about people and those that couldn’t have what everyday people might take for granted,” Schoonover said.
Steve’s Wings is currently soliciting donations for a Christmastime delivery to those on the streets. Requested items include:
- clothing (for men, women and children) including coats, gloves and toboggans
- blankets, pillows
- toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, travel size shampoo and conditioner, bath soap, deodorant, razors, tampons or pads)
“Anything that we can give our struggling community and those in active addiction is much needed and deeply appreciated,” Schoonover said.
Those items will be delivered to those in need on Dec. 23.
This Friday around 5:15 p.m., Steve’s Wings will be setting up a Christmas tree on the lawn of the old courthouse. The tree will feature “ornaments of our lost angels to honor and remember them publicly as well as to bring awareness to our county’s drug issues.”
“There are multiple types of situations of illicit drug deaths in our community that have occurred and we welcome each type,” Schoonover said in a post.
According to a report released earlier this month from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Richmond County had a fentanyl-involved death rate of 79.5 for the time period of August 2022-July 2023, making it the second-highest rate in the state and more than double the state average of 32.5.
Anyone who has lost a loved one to drug use is encouraged to bring a weather-proof ornament for the tree.
Steve’s Wings is also hosting a support group for parents who have lost children to illicit drug use. The next meeting is scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Hamlet Church of God of Prophecy.
For more information, contact Schoonover at 910-417-8740.