Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. On the fourth Saturday of October, millions of volunteers around the world unite in a common mission to improve the lives of others. Make A Difference Day is a day to celebrate the power of people to make a difference. The Youth at St. Stephen Catholic Church have decided to make a difference starting with the mission of The Heritage Foundation, Inc. to restore honor and dignity to abandoned cemeteries. The Youth have chosen the Black Heritage Community Cemetery, located in Sanford, NC to be their first volunteer project. They will not only make a difference on the 4th Saturday in October, but have committed to serving for the next two years.
I am so inspired by your cause. I am an anthropology student at the University of Oklahoma and am interested in bioanthropology and archaeology from the american slave era. The cemeteries and just their normal way of life has been ignored for so long, it is time that someone stand up for them too! Bravo! I also changed my charity onAmazon Smile to support your organization.
I feel like I should share my background with you.
I was raised in the country just outside of Macon, Georgia to a single white mother. My mother was born in 1959 and was one of the youngest generations to have desegregated schools. My mother raised me to be fair and to treat other people with respect and I have always continued to do as she taught me. Living in Macon, I was exposed to a variety of cultures, but the African-American community was the most influential to me in addition to it already being apart of the southern culture in general. One distinct memory was going to the train station as a child and seeing the words "colored" engraved to a marble sign over the water fountains. It made me sad and angry even though I was too little to fully understand, but my mother tried the best she could to explain it. I don't know if all of this makes sense, but I just wanted you to know that it is my mother that instilled in me the values of equality.
I recently went back to school at the age of 36 to obtain my anthropology degree and have been struggling to figure out what I wanted to focus on in my studies. I have been given the opportunity to attend a field school this summer at the James Madison property in Virginia and participate in excavating the slave quarters that were on the property. I am also taking an osteology class that has prompted my research into cemeteries. During my research into both ideas, I realized I have been given the responsibility to make sure their stories are told respectfully and that they are told with dignity. I just added African and African American Studies as my minor.
I also recently started doing genealogical research of my family on ancestry.com and as I dug around, I noticed that a few of my ancestors owned a couple of slaves. They were not plantation owners, but they still participated in that atrocity and I felt horrible but I also found out that my 5th-great-grandfather, Leander Fairchild, from South Carolina was a butcher and a former slave who had bought his own freedom. I was using Find-A-Grave and it dawned on me that there are a lot of people that do not know where their ancestors and family are buried because slave cemeteries were the last on the list of being restored. I finally realized that I cannot change my families past, but that it does not define me, and it makes me want to participate in the discovery of new and old details. Hopefully my ancestors would be proud to have me.
Again, thank you so much!
University of Oklahoma
Making A Difference
MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY 2015 WAS A SUCCESS
The Heritage Foundation, Inc. would like to recognize:
Not for ourselves But for others
The Heritage Foundation, Inc.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
SANFORD, NORTH CAROLINA
Youth of St. Stephen
Your Donations Make the Difference
UPDATE: Oct 24, 2015 Make A Difference Day was a SUCCESS!!!