TABOR CITY — A special groundbreaking was held on Sunday, Aug. 25, by the members of the Matthew 25 Center board of directors on a facility that will be the overnight home for those family members visiting incarcerated individuals in area correctional facilities.
The facility will be located at 3899 Swamp Fox Hwy. West in Tabor City.
Although the dirt was broken nearly two weeks ago, the fundraising for the project remains about $25,000 short of the projected need. But the groundbreaking was a positive step forward for those who have spent the better part of nine years pushing the project.
Now that the groundbreaking has taken place, volunteers are being urged to help with the building of the facility. Already members of the North Carolina Baptist Men have stepped forward to begin framing the house, but additional assistance is needed.
The real purpose of the Matthew 25 Center will be to allow the families of imprisoned individuals have a safe place to stay when they come to visit their loved one — all free of charge.
Wilbur Ward, a Bladen County resident who is a director of the Matthew 25 Center board, has said the facility will be a real blessing to those who use it.
“It’s a chance to help keep families who have been separated by by incarceration together,” he said recently. “We want to help inmates continue to have a connection with their spouses, children and extended family — which will help keep the family bond strong when they are finally reunited.”
Ward attended the Aug. 20 groundbreaking and helped sink a shovel into the dirt.
During the ceremony that day, the more than 100 in attendance were told that a recent study had determined about 179,000 children in North Carolina had been separated from a parent or step-parent because of incarceration.
One attendee at the ceremony, Tami Cumbee, told the crowd her husband has been incarcerated and, over the years, has been transferred to five different facilities.
“Every day the inmate serves, the family serves,” she said. “They suffer greatly.”
Those wishing to help monetarily or volunteer their labor can contact the Matthew 25 Center at 910-840-5226 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Matthew 25 Center of Tabor City is also on Facebook.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or email@example.com.