Roger’s Wishproject nearsits 2017 finish

As you are reading this, there are just a handful of days left in the fifth annual Roger’s Wish project here at the Bladen Journal.

As you hopefully know, the Roger’s Wish project is an effort to collect new and gently used blankets and sleeping bags — along with any other good, usable items — that will ultimately be distributed to the area’s homeless and families in need.

Let’s be honest, there are far more people in Bladen County who sleep in their vehicle (if they are lucky) or out in the elements that you would guess. And even more likely, there are far more residents — perhaps even neighbors of yours — who are without heat and other necessities like blankets, food and toiletries.

That’s why Roger’s Wish was created.

Throughout the month of October every year, we continue the idea sparked by the late Roger Grunder, who had a heart for the homeless and those in need. He was tragically killed in a car accident just as the first collection started, but his legacy was kept alive.

This time, we are rebounding from a tough collection drive in 2016, thanks to Hurricane Matthew — and we are quickly closing in on the 100 mark for donated blankets. That’s an astonishing number, and goes along with other items like gloves, toiletries and bed linens.

But we’d love to see the pile grow larger — and we feel sure Roger would, too.

There’s no doubt in our minds that Roger has watched these collections every October and has looked for a way to bless each and every giver. And every early November, he is right here with us as we give the collected items to those who need them — and we know he is smiling.

This year’s collection will run through Tuesday at 5 p.m., so there are still a few days to clean out a closet or purchase a new blanket or organize a youth group to collect much-needed warmth for those in Bladen County who need it most.

All of the items will be handed out to those in need — just for the asking — on Friday, Nov. 3, starting at 9 a.m. at the Bladen Journal office. There will also be a portion of the blankets given to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office so deputies on patrol can give a blanket to any homeless person they may come upon.

This is a feel-good opportunity for each and every person in Bladen County, young or old. A blanket you give now will be used to warm a person through the coming cold months — and that’s something that should warm your heart.

We hope to see more items come in the door between now and Tuesday, and as always, we look forward to the day we distribute these items generously given by our neighbors. And this year, we will be joined by some of Roger’s family on Nov. 3.

Take the weekend. Think on it. Pray about it. And then we hope to see you on Monday or Tuesday with your donation.



“The happiest people in life are the givers, not the getters.” (Unknown)