Volunteers work to serve those in need
From left, Lori Carmon, Shonda Hines, Soraya Kornegay and Tawana Humphrey help prepare a meal for patrons at Mary's Kitchen on Sunday. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
Some Kinstonians have been working to make a positive impact in our community.
Over the past few months, Lori Carmon and Tavaris Moore have opened Mary's Kitchen every first Sunday in order to feed the homeless. Moore said he wanted to set a good example for younger members of the community while assisting those in need.
"I asked the community to come down and help because something needs to be done," Moore said. "I want to show the kids what they're supposed to do, to support the community and make an impact."
Carmon said she had done volunteer work in the past and teamed up with Moore because of the need.
"(Moore) does his Thanksgiving event and I've done some things with Citizens For Change," Carmon said. "I remember one day he was ranting on Facebook and people were talking, but nobody was doing anything so we got together for this."
Carmon and Moore, along with more than 15 volunteers, served about 200 people Sunday, either cooking food or passing out plates and drinks to those who needed them.
Among the volunteers was a group from the Boys to Kings Mentoring Alliance, including Alijah Garner, 9, who couldn't wait to assist.
"I like feeding the homeless and when I found out this was where we were going, I was happy to come out and help," Garner said.
Michyla Dove, a rising junior at Kinston High School and Carmon's daughter, said she was more than happy to help out.
"Helping out in the community is important and it's a good thing to do," Dove said. "I can do more than play basketball and it felt great doing this with my mom."
Vikings assistant basketball coach Shonda Hines said she was excited to serve the community where she could.
"I enjoy helping people and if I can put a smile on someone's face each day, I've done my job," Hines said.
Several volunteers weren't locals, just people willing to assist for the cause. Richlands resident Tawana Humphrey said Carmon let her know about the endeavor and she wanted to help.
"I met Lori with our kids playing in the basketball organization," Humphrey said. "She told me about how they were trying to feed the homeless and I had my girls out here helping as well. It's something I've done in the past for other organizations and with (Lori and I) both having a passion for food and helping others, it was a match made in heaven."
Greenville resident Martina Harris said she felt it was necessary to give back.
"God has been so good to me, and I'm blessed to be able to be a blessing to others," Harris said. "Normally, I would send a few dollars but felt it was more important to show up and do work."
Carmon said this is something her and Moore intend to continue doing.
"We wanted to make a statement and help the community," Carmon said. "Each time, there will be different people who need us and we want to be there for them."
For those looking to donate food, money or want to volunteer with Carmon's group, contact her at 252-643-3021. If you'd like to volunteer at another time, contact Mary's Kitchen at 252-523-6146, visit its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/maryskitchenkinston) or visit its web page at www.stmaryskinston.com.