Shortly after Farando “Sly” Best moved to Elkin eight years ago he decided to start I Support My Community, an organization that does exactly what it says. In order to, “be a role model for kids,” Best creates activities that motivate young people of the community and aids them in various ways including encouraging their studies and positive behaviors as well as caring for those who are disadvantaged.
Although Best has been working on gathering funds for a youth center which will be run by the kids with the guidance of adults such as Best and his wife, he has set aside promoting that need in favor of his annual Stuff the Bus program. On Dec. 10, Elkin City Schools will provide a school bus to sit in the Walmart parking lot where Best and his young people with gather items for those in need who are not being served by other groups such as the Salvation Army.
In order to Stuff the Bus, donations of everything from toys and clothes to non-perishable food and other items will be accepted. Because I Support My Community is now a 501(c)(3) it is easier for businesses to make donations, “instead of just asking customers and the community to fund it,” which is how Best previously covered all activities and projects.
In addition to the bus being in the Walmart parking lot as usual, Best is anticipating getting it in the Elkin/Jonesville Christmas Parade where donations can be collected along the parade route. This will enable more people to participate, hopes Best, as well as raise awareness.
Customers and local businesses make recommendations to I Support My Community for recipients of donated items. Individuals also can sign up through the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ismc1 or the website at http://ismcommunity1.wixsite.com/ismc. Potential beneficiaries will be checked to ensure everyone has the opportunity to have their needs met.
Stuff the Bus is not limited exclusively to residents of Elkin and Jonesville. “I ask that families from out of town come to this location,” said Best, who looks forward to the young people in his group helping everyone they can.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.