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Jah’Keira Dupree opened up her brand new turquoise book bag to show off the school supplies inside.
“Look at my book bag,” the 5-year-old said with excitement.
N.C. Love in Action on Tarboro Street distributed book bags Friday to several students thanks to a large donation from M.D. Eger Associates.
“It’s just nice of them that they did this for us,” said Jah’Keira’s sister, Journee, 11. Doretha Kent, founder of the nonprofit N.C. Love in Action, said she was contacted by M.D. Eger Associates about wanting to help local children with new book bags to start the school year. Kent said she was able to purchase $2,000 worth of book bags and supplies.
“I always say God always has a blessing, and he always has a miracle,” Kent said. “And every so often, my blessing and my miracle just appear. So right now, out of thin blue sky, this miracle appeared.”
N.C. Love in Action provides a variety of services to those most vulnerable including the hungry and those in need of medication and transportation to doctor’s visits.
A REAL BLESSING
Madeline Peaden couldn’t wait to show off her new school gear.
“Look at my book bag,” she said. Her brother, Jay, also received one.
Their grandmother, Patsy Reeves, said they were having a hard time right now.
“It’s just a real blessing to have one less thing to think about,” Reeves said.
Kent, a retired educator, said something as simple as giving children a new book bag goes further than most people will ever know.
“A lot of times, we think people have income and they don’t,” Kent said about families. “They can’t afford to do it and people think that they can. With Love in Action we have the opportunity to help.”
Kent said she was grateful to M.D. Eger Associates who ensured children would have everything they need for the first day of school.
“I’m just so excited, I can barely stand it,” Kent said with a smile.
A BIG SURPRISE
M.D. Eger, owner of the M.D. Eger Associates, was there with his family, who greeted the children and helped them pick out a book bag.
“It’s about giving back to change someone’s life,” Eger said. “Pay it forward.”
Eger also struck up conversation with many of the kids, including 15-year-old Jayia Rouse. He asked her how her grades were last year at school. Jayia told him she made A’s and B’s. Eger encouraged her to keep it up and strive to do even better this upcoming school year. Eger then reached into his pocket and handed Jayia something. When the Wilson Early College student looked down, she was in disbelief. It was a crisp, $100 bill.
“Oh my gosh!” she said as she gave Eger a big hug. Jayia said she never expected such a gift.
“That’s how I know how much he values education,” she said. “This right here is a big motivation. It makes me want to do more.”
Eger said he knows what it’s like to struggle. When he was 9 years old, he lost his family, he said.
“I grew up in the system,” he said. “I understand what it’s like.”
Eger said he was homeless three times as a child. He was also a runaway, lived on the streets and ate of trash cans to survive, he said.
“I’ve been the worst of the worst and the best of the best,” he said. Eger said that’s why he makes it a goal to give back to those in need.
“I wake up in the morning looking for an opportunity to bless somebody,” he said. He said the act of kindness and giving to a child can spark something within them and push them forward.
“They could be the next senator, the next president, the next sheriff, the next scientist that creates an invention,” Eger said. “You can’t look at the exterior of a person. The very important element is the mind itself.”
(This story has been edited since its publication to correct the spelling of M.D. Eger's name.)