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Earrnings made from tackle to benefit Boys, Girls Clubs
Lisa Nunn (left), operations officer at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge, looks at earrings that Chris Williams (right), staff member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge, made to benefit club members. (Bulletin photos by Ashley Jackson)
A staff member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge used his creativity to raise funds to send club members to camp this summer and enable other youth to join the club in the fall.
Chris Williams, who works at the clubs’ Sanville site, is selling earrings he makes from fish hooks and spinner bait blades.
“It’s not about me,” Williams said. It’s about the children, he added.
Williams said he was inspired to start raising money after he received a voicemail message from a mother expressing concern that she wanted her son to attend camp, but she couldn’t afford it.
“The good Lord said to me, ‘Hey, you need to find a way to get this boy (into camp),’” Williams said.
He began asking members of his church, Christ Church of Martinsville, and friends if they could donate money to send the boy to camp. He also started making and selling earrings.
He began making the earrings after his wife, Kimberly, was about to buy a pair that looked much like fishing lures. He told her to hold off because he could make similar earrings out of lures which, as an avid fisherman, he already had at home.
“Crafts were really not my strongpoint from the start,” he said. It’s the the only craft project he’s done, he added.
Since he began selling earrings and taking donations, Williams has raised the $420 needed for two boys to attend the full camp, he said.
He was passionate about helping the children go to camp so they would be involved in something during the summer that would keep them from sitting in front of the television, he said.
The summer camp began in June and will run through Aug. 3. The cost for the entire camp was $210 per youth, or club members can attend for one week at a time for $35.
Camp activities include swimming trips each week, an archery program and several field trips to surrounding area locations, from ice skating to Martinsville Mustangs games, he said.
“I want them (the students) to enjoy themselves” during the summer, Williams said.
Occasionally, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge receives summer camp funds from anonymous donors, but the funds don’t reach everyone in need, according to Lisa Nunn, operations officer at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge.
When Nunn found out what Williams was planning to do, she was baffled. She couldn’t believe that he was using his free time to help the club members, she said.
Williams’ effort “warms my heart,” and “I’m really grateful to know people like Chris,” Nunn added.
If the earrings keep selling for $5 a pair, Williams said the money will help offset the $25 club fees for some members in the fall.
Looking ahead, Williams said he already is praying about how he might be able to help children attend next summer’s camp. He would like to get more churches involved to possibly sponsor children to go to camp, he added.
“It’s amazing how God works,” Williams said. “It’s whatever the good Lord wants ... and if he wants me to be the tool (to send these children to camp), then that’s great.”
Anyone interested in donating funds or buying a pair of the earrings, which are available in various sizes, shapes and colors, should call the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge at 656-1171.
Earrings also are available at the clubs’ main office at 26 W. Church St. (level two), Martinsville.