It wasn’t a dream, dear. God gave you a vision.
Donna was born and raised in the western part of North Carolina where she learned her strong family values and developed an eagerness to volunteer and help others. Her husband Tom, a gifted musician, songwriter, and photographer, will be joining her on the cruise.
About a dozen years ago, Donna was shocked to learn of a small community called "Blackmon Road," just across the state line in South Carolina, and she had to see it for herself. This small community of some 75 people had no running water, no sewer, and almost no electricity. The only things in abundance were poverty, drugs, and prostitution. When Donna went to the site, she seemed to know it already. She knocked on the door of a shanty where she was greeted by an elderly black lady, and Donna said: "I think I know this place." The old lady responded: "No, dear. You've never been here. God sent you a vision, and we've been waiting for you."
And then Donna brought her irrepressible energy to the task of making life better in Blackmon Road with A Place for Hope with no money in the bank, she convinced a local veterinary group to donate a large, double wide trailer to her cause. She convinced a local landowner to lease her property at no cost, she convinced local workers to clear the land, and she set up a community center. Within ten years she had a full-time executive director running the place, which now features a summer program for children, a year-round food pantry, a wash house with showers for the residents, washers and dryers for their clothing, and all manner of youth services. The community has ridden itself of its earlier bad elements and now babies she held in her arms a decade ago are on youth baseball teams, attending and graduating high school, and moving on to face the world with confidence. All this because of the vision and the never-say-die attitude of one willing volunteer.