The Lumber Company continues to speak volumes for JCSU athletes
By Fran Farrer
CHARLOTTE, NC – Now for the second time during COVID-19 we have seen the dedication to improving the lives of others in area communities when The Lumber Company steps up. To kick off football season former athletes would gather to eat, greet, and socialize, and do the same during homecoming; all cancelled due to COVID-19.
The games stopped, but the hearts pounded. Seeing the loss of housing, jobs, ample food, clothing, and nutrition, The Lumber Company stepped up to provide food for the homeless and women at Crisis Assistance Ministry’s Women’s Shelter for the second time last weekend.
The Lumber Company’s president, DeBloise Payne III was pleased with the turnout and response of volunteers, and that the 30-year old organization continues to cheer on success even when it’s not on the field.
Members wives always assist, many of which are graduated members of famed sororities: AKA’s and Delta’s from Charlotte, and we cannot forget the AKA’s from Claflin University. Each are called to service; and stepping up to help is what they do. A few compelling testimonies acknowledge their commitment to service:
Barbara Cunningham Rouse became The Lumber Company’s only official female member a little over a month ago and, was immediately elevated from basic member to secretary and administrator of their work. Her initial interaction started following the death of football player, Bill White from Texas who was a dear friend. Realizing the difficulties of flying during COVID-19, and conversations with alums in Charlotte to find there would also be a virtual service there, she decided to make the 4-hour drive and commune with family. Rouse started a Go-Fund-Me page to assist his daughters and raised more than $1,500.00, which opened the eyes of members; she should be a member. One of her favorite quotes is: “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile,” and, another is: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among your who will be really happy are those who have sought an found how to serve.”
AKA, Kim Graham, JCSU class of ‘88 said, “We are sworn to family, to whom much is given, much is required. And as a child I was taught the Lord God gives and we must give back.”
Dr. Octavia Cannon from Michigan, also a JCSU grad, shared that her mother instilled in her the words of God that resonates today including to: “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” Much of her childhood experiences are what led her to practice medicine, and she cares for each person as God’s servant. In addition to supporting The Lumber Company she is or has worked with or sat on boards of the Jr. League, Atrium Health, Salvation Army, and many others, and has received awards from many including her alum, JCSU.
JCSU alum, Gennia Harris was also on hand to help stuff bags.
With fall temperatures quickly dropping, members were encouraged to seek donations from families and friends to provide family’s in need with proper covering.
Some traditions were fewer in number, but the chicken, steak, and burgers finally made it to the grill to wrap up a great JCSU celebration of friends and families helping others.
At the end of the day, graduates and friends hailed,” JCSU!” And yes, the steak was tender and juicy!