JUST ADD HOPE: Cape Fear Volunteer Center


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We often hear from viewers who say we should do more positive news than the typical gloom and doom that fills newscasts and papers. While we do often cover positive stories, we’re going to try to more consistently focus on some of the good things going on in our community and the people and groups doing them. WWAY’s Asha Davé shows us how the world can be changed if you JUST ADD HOPE.

Hanging in the office of the Cape Fear Volunteer Center is a quote by Theodore Roosevelt that sums up the group’s mission: “Do what you can with what you have where you are.”

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“It can be anything from repairing a home to mentoring, to driving someone to the doctor or anything related to outdoors or indoors,” Volunteer Center Director Annie Anthony said.

Anthony says it does not matter your age, your interests or how much time you have. She’ll match you with a volunteer opportunity.

Joan Bates is a senior citizen who knows firsthand the impact a few hours and a few gallons of paint can have. She says she’s blessed to have been part of “Reach the Beach,” a program that repairs 70 homes around our area every other summer.

“After they finished the painting, I was amazed, because they wanted to know what else they could do, and they were persistent about it,” Bates said. “They said they were here to help us.”

Volunteer Valerie Lazzari said she started out small, but paying it forward has paid off. Now she’s volunteering more of her time to help in the office.

“I can do for someone else,” she said. “Maybe some time I might need some help.”

Lazzari said many people don’t realize the range of opportunities available, from writing letters to wounded vets to helping collect ladders for home repairs, which is what volunteer Michele Trepanier did for “Reach the Beach.”

“When you get involved and volunteer, there’s so much that you receive back,” Trepanier said. “It’s so much better than just sitting and doing nothing with your time.”

“It showed me that there’s people out there, that there’s people that care and are willing to do things at their own time at no cost to us,” Bates said.

Anthony said there’s a chance for you to help whether you have five minutes or 50 hours a week, but commitment and reliability are key.

“If you show up, and you’re there, and you’re present in what you’re doing no matter what it is, you will make a difference. By seeing that difference, you’ll continue to come back,” Anthony said.

The Cape Fear Volunteer Center adds hope by connecting people who want to help with people who need help.

For more information about how you can get involved visit http://www.capefearvolunteercenter.org. And if you know of a group adding hope to our community, let us know by sending an e-mail to adave@wwaytv3.com.