Category Archives: Family

Fayetteville Food Pantry serves Community

With poverty and food insecurity being a prominent issue in Robeson County and downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina, many churches in the community have opened food pantry’s to help those who are in need. Among those churches is True Vine Ministries, located on Morganton road in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

True Vine’s food pantry is called Liberty Place. The pantry leader is Terrie Cobb. Cobb is a member of True Vine Ministries. Her passion for helping others is what led her to become the leader of the Liberty Place food pantry. With the help of several other church members, the pantry serves the community on Tuesdays and Thursday’s every week.

“This was just something  I knew I needed to do. The Lord led me in this direction so I am going to continue to do His will”, Cobb said.

The food for the pantry is supplied by Second Harvest Food Bank in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The food includes meat, canned food, eggs, cereal, candy, baby food, baby formula, and much more.

The pantry also provides other basic needs such as toilet tissue, deodorant, tooth paste, detergent, and more.

“We try to make sure that everyone that comes to the pantry gets what they need to make it through the week”, Cobb said.

According to the pantry’s records, majority of the pantry’s visitors live in or around the downtown Fayetteville area, and parts of Robeson County.

“We know it’s a serious need when they travel all the way from Robeson County to get food and other basic necessities”, Cobb said.

Liberty Place food pantry will be giving away turkey’s and ham’s for the holidays.

Terrie and a local pantry volunteer pose for a quick photo while preparing food boxes.
Terrie and a local pantry volunteer pose for a quick photo while preparing food boxes.

Intern explains what Connections of Cumberland County is all About

The doors of Connections of Cumberland County in Fayetteville, North Carolina were opened in July of 2014. Connections caters to women and children in Cumberland County. With poverty being prominent in downtown Fayetteville, Connections is somewhat of a safe haven for women and children in need of basic necessities. At connections, the mission is to collaborate with all community resources to empower women and children who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to become self reliant.

The services offered at Connections are as follows; Day resource center with case management, Connect-2-Redirect Program (C2R), and the intern learning lab. Among the many faces at Connections, there is intern, Charmaile Pennie. She works alongside the case workers at Connections. As an intern Charmaile Is allowed the opportunity to experience real life cases and build her skill set. She is a master level social work student, so her knowledge in the field is fresh. After several sit downs and phone conversations, in a self recorded response to interview questions, Charmaile addressed what Connections is all about and what her primary tasks as an intern include.

There are many different types of women that come to Connections seeking help. “They all have a different story”, Pennie said.

Charmaile went into the field of social work because her grandparents taught her to be a good Samaritan. At Connections, she provides case management, and assisting in the day resource center.

“This is truly calling for life, it’s all a part of a bigger plan” Pennie said.

Last year Connections of Cumberland was recognized by the local newspaper, The Fayetteville
Observer. Their efforts to grow with the homeless have brought positive attention their way.

“It’ s really a great place. I like to help people so this internship allows me to do that”, Pennie said.

Charmaile is a professional in her own way because she has studied homelessness and poverty for many years. As she works toward earning more degree’s she is increasing her knowledge of these subjects and making plans to effectively change her community.

The internship with Connections has placed Charmaile on a professional level because she deals one on one, face to face, with women who are homeless and in need of assistance. She knows first hand what can be done to help them in their current situations.

When Charmaile goes out to begin her career, having Connections of Cumberland County on her resume will be a major plus. She is receiving top of the line experience In the field of social work.

“I have two daughters and they are my motivation”, Pennie said.

Charmaile can be contacted on her personal Facebook page.


Fort Bragg Harley Davidson hosts Second Annual All American Weekend

Motorcycles and cars lined up and down road on Sunday May 22, for the second annual All American Weekend hosted by the Fort Bragg Harley Davidson, located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The event was promoted during the Myrtle Beach Bike Week as well as All American Week in Fayetteville. This event was free and open to the public. There were activities and entertainment for people of all ages. There were bouncy houses, balloon animals, and face painting for the children, and a live band, motor show, and vendors for the adults. The planner of the event was Harley Davidson marketing manager, Christine Montgomery.

“I really just wanted to see everybody come out and see what we are all about. This event is for the community and to see this many people come out to enjoy themselves is great to see”, Montgomery said.

The main attraction was the Ives Brothers’ Wall of Death stunt show. The live music came from RiverMist and Jasmin Cain.

Nat Robertson, the Mayor of Fayetteville, attended the event and did a raffle drawing for a Harley Davidson T-shirt quilt.

The representatives at Harley Davidson say “if you want the real deal, come to Fort Bragg Harley Davidson”. They are the only authorized dealer on Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Cliffdale Public Library promotes Reading “Under the Sea”

On Monday, May 16 at the public library located on Cliffdale road in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a reading event was held for children in grades K-5. The event theme was “under the sea”. The theme song was “Under the Sea” from the classic movie The Little Mermaid.

The Association for Library Service to Children is the world’s largest organization. This organization focuses on the support and enhancement of library services provided for children of all ages. The ALSC’s creative programming includes more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, children’s literature experts, publishers, education and library school faculty members, and other dedicated adults that want to help children succeed in the area of reading and literacy. The events that are hosted at the North Carolina public libraries are held to promote reading in a fun and engaging way that motivates children to want to read everyday. These events help the children to learn to read through music, art and crafts and games. Youth Services Library Associate, Jaime Orsini is a part of the ALSC. She encourages children to read and create and their own stories.

“The goal is to get the children to read and understand what they are reading so that they too can create their own stories to tell” Orsini said.

The public libraries in North Carolina host events every week for children of all ages.


581 Degree’s Conferred at UNC Pembroke Commencement

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke held its 2016 Spring Commencement Ceremony on May 7 at 9 a.m. The ceremony took place on the Quad South Lawn of university’s campus. There were 581 undergraduate degrees conferred during the ceremony.  The local newspaper, The Robesonian reported that there were over 5,000 people in attendance. The speaker for the commencement was 1976 UNCP graduate, Dr. Sallie McRorie. Dr. McRorie’s message to the students was to keep moving and never give up.

Fourteen of the graduates will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S Army and U.S. Air force. This news sent the audience in to an uproar of applause.

During the ceremony, a memorial degree was given to the parents of Doris Paul,21, a former student at UNCP. Paul was killed in a car accident in April of 2015. Her parents were at the ceremony, along with her brother, Charles Paul, who accepted her degree in her honor. Emotions were stirring and the audience began to applaud Doris’s brother as he walked across stage. Doris was a biology major.

Following the ceremony, several celebration stations were set up around the campus to accommodate students and their loved ones. With over 5000 people in attendance, the 2016 UNC Pembroke Commencement Ceremony was one to remember.

The Life Changer Known as Alzeheimers

James Barnes, 86, waiting to leave for adult day care on Friday morning. He has Alzheimers disease and can no longer care for himself.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, behavior, and thinking. Nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s or related dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Today, Alzheimer’s is at the forefront of biomedical research.

James Barnes, 86, of Linden, North Carolina was diagnosed with dementia in 2011. He had already had a history of heart problems since early 2005. The dementia diagnosis only added to his rocky medical history. When James was diagnosed with dementia he was at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina being treated for congestive heart failure. It was not until he began to make confusing statements that doctors decided to test James.

James Barnes, 86, in Fayetteville, North Carolina was doing his hand excercises for the day.

Since his diagnosis, James has been living with his youngest daughter, her husband and their four children. To keep his health, memory, and sanity in check, James takes several prescription medications. He takes medicine in the morning and at night. His diet consists of no salt.

James’ medications for the week.

One of the challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s is the sudden mood changes.

“One day he is completely calm and the next day he can be very irritable. It all depends on how effective the medicine is, his daughter Christina Pennie said.

James does not know that he has Alzheimer’s. He believes that he is a young boy and still lives with his parents.

“Pa taught me everything I know”, James Barnes said.

Elderly people with Alzheimer’s find joy in being around small children.

James Barnes and his great-granddaughter Destiny sitting on his bed enjoying a relaxing night at home.

“He really loves to play and laugh with his great granddaughter. She keeps him alert and smiling”, Christina said.

Each day is a challenge in the life of James Barnes but with the help of his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren he will be celebrating 87 years of life on April 20, 2016. Alzheimer’s alters a person’s life as it progresses.

We just take each day one step at time, that’s all we can do”, Christina said.

James recieving his night medication from his daughter Christina Pennie, alongside his great-granddaughter Destiny.

Young Woman Finds her Father on Facebook

DSC00276Rebecca Gordon, 22, of Spring Lake, North Carolina, looking on Facebook, at the first picture she took with her father, John Pennie, in 2013.

  Rebecca Gordon, a native of Spring Lake, North Carolina, spent 20 years of her life, without a father. That is 20 years of growing, laughing, and loving. At the tender age of 13, Gordon became interested in finding her father.

“I went to my mother and I asked her who my dad was, what did he look like, where is he from”.

Gordon said that her mother could never give her a clear answer. She even tried searching for him on She didn’t get any hits. As a result, she was left with only dreams of what her father could have been like. After several failed attempts with her mother, Gordon gave up on trying to find her father. Seven years later, at the age of 20, Gordon received some very exciting information from her mother, it was her father’s name.

“I just remember feeling excited because I was step closer at finding him”, Gordon said.

At the time, Gordon’s mother had just created a Facebook page. She said that this was another door opened for her to take advantage of. Gordon logged in to her mothers Facebook account and began searching for a man by the name of John Pennie.

The search didn’t take long, she found a man named John Pennie, showed the photo to her mother, and to her surprise, he was the man that her mother said was her father.

“I had to build up the courage to send him message, because it just seeing his picture wasn’t enough”, Gordon said.


John Pennie, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, playing outside in front of his home, with his grandson Miles.

The message read: Hi. My name is Rebecca. My mom’s name is Debra Brahnam. I wanted to reach out to you because I think you are father. Did you work for Pepsi Cola in 1992? If so then you are definitely the man I have been looking for. I have a son, Miles, he’s 3 and we would love to meet you in person. Please get back with me as soon as possible. Thank you.

Gordon waited for days before she finally received a response from John Pennie.

“It was not a surprise to me. I always knew in the back of my mind that I had a child. Her mother and I lost connection with one another so I never knew what happened, “Pennie said.

DSC00274John Pennie, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, sitting on a couch in his home, alongside his daughter Rebecca Gordon of Spring Lake, North Carolina.

On June 13, 2013, Gordon met her father for the first time. It was obvious that she belonged because it was if they were looking in the mirror.

DSC00271John Pennie, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, joking around with his daughter, Rebecca Gordon, of Spring Lake, North Carolina.

“She has my nose, it’s a very distinctive feature that all my children gained from me”, Pennie said.

Gordon was residing in Louisiana before she met her father, today she lives in North Carolina where she be close to her father and her new family.

“Family is everything to me. I want to be close to my dad and I want my son to have his grandpa close by. That’s important,” Gordon said.

DSC00269John Pennie, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, swinging his grandson Miles, of Spring Lake, North Carolina, with the help of his daughter Rebecca, of Spring Lake, North Carolina. The three were enjoying some fun in the sun together.

Gordon said that she knew all along that she was different from her other siblings. She had different hair, and different mannerisms. She knew she had to find her father, so she could compare herself to him. It turns out, they are just alike. Now, Gordon has a father, and Pennie has a new daughter. On April 12, 2016, Gordon will celebrate her birthday with her father for the first  time. They will celebrate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with family.