Carol Voss was hoping for around 800 people to show up at Dobson Square Park Saturday for the first Community Hope International event.
It looked like she was well on her way to reaching that, with more than 200 people showing by early afternoon.
“We have had about 200 people in and out so far, and its only 2 o’clock,” Voss said.
The gathering was held from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with free food, music for those attending, and free clothing items given to those in need.
“This is just the groundwork for years to come,” said Voss, as she plans to have many events like this one all across Surry and surrounding counties.
Earlier this week she said she wants to use her organization, Community Hope International, to bring a sense of community back to modern life, with individuals and families helping one another throughout various communities.
Voss said on Saturday she is still working on groups and businesses to participate in her program. Grants are also a possibility in the future to help support Community Hope International. The idea, she explained earlier in the week, was to find families, businesses, churches, and other organizations to come together, helping meet one another’s needs, as people often did in times past.
“It was fun to be able to come and hang out with my family, eat some free food, and let my children play in the splash pad,” said Samantha Dawn, who had travelled from Elkin to attend the event.
Dawn brought three sisters, her daughter and several nieces and nephews to enjoy the day.
Dawn’s youngest sister made the remark “We couldn’t have asked for a better day, the breeze is wonderful.”
Voss hopes to have newsletters and magazines in the future to help promote her mission.
Around a dozen performers took the stage throughout the day, with two bands traveling in from Denver and Winston-Salem.
“The music is really nice,” said Betty Lawrence, who attended with her husband. They stayed at the event for a few hours, and were planning to drive back home to Mount Airy before the sun became to hot.
Voss said the launch of her plan comes after more than 35 years of feeding and helping folks. She said that after spending more than $200,000 of her own money in seeing the plan through she has “had a lot of organizations jump onboard.” Voss said that throughout her life of service she has fed and clothed people. Voss also worked with a company that donated up to $15,000 at a time to fix the homes of local veterans.
Reach Eva Queen at (336) 415-4739 or [email protected]