April Watkins

April Watkins with the food pantry, Doodlebug's Blessings.

Carthage resident April Watkins was searching for a way to help the needy of her community, and found a creative solution in her own front yard.

Using a set of shelves she’d commissioned from a friend, Watkins set up a freestanding “food pantry” on her front lawn, painted bright green and visible from the road.

She packed it full of donations and advertised it as an anonymous pickup spot for those in need. In honor of the pet name her grandmother once gave her, Watkins is calling the project “Doodlebug’s Blessings.”

Within days, Watkins had garnered the support from numerous donors, and the Facebook group she’d created to coordinate donations has been joined by over 400 users. People gave lots of canned and boxed food, but also dishes, clothing, diapers and more. One donor even mailed a sizable check to buy supplies.

“To be honest, if I knew it would reach so many people, I would have gotten a bigger building,” joked Watkins. But just this week, she did exactly that, when someone donated a metal storehouse to install on the property Watkins shares with her girlfriend and son. It will need repairing and repainting, so she is asking for volunteer power from anyone interested in lending a hand to fix the place up.  

Doodlebug’s Blessings was inspired by her mother, who Watkins remembers would frequently take her along to buy food and deliver it to the homeless.

”We all know what it’s like to struggle when life gets hard,” she said. “I’m at a point in my life where I’m stable enough to help people. I’m trying to pay it forward.” 

Food donations and supplies can be dropped in the storehouse or pantry, at 1453 Niagara Carthage Rd, Carthage, NC 28374. To ask about volunteering or for any other information, call April Watkins at 910-338-6139. 

Contact Mary Moore at mmoore@thepilot.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Comments that violate any of the rules above are subject to removal by staff.

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. Subscribe today and support local community journalism.

Digital Only Subscriptions

The Pilot

Get unlimited digital access and support award-winning local journalism, for just $5 a month. This includes access to the electronic replica edition of The Pilot.

Starting at
$5.35 for 30 days

Already have a Print Subscription? Get Digital Access Free.

The Pilot

As a print subscriber, you also have unlimited digital access. Connect your account now. Or, call customer service at 910-693-2487 for help.

 

Our system has been updated, if you are a current print subscriber and cannot obtain your unlimited access, please contact customer support 910-693-2490. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Home Delivery

The Pilot

Our best deal: Get all the news of Moore County delivered to your home each Wednesday and Sunday — and receive unlimited digital access to thepilot.com.

Starting at
$27.82 for 90 days