Retired trucker making a difference for hurricane-battered small town

| Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Every year on the last Saturday in October, volunteers around the country rally their time, resources and money for National Make A Difference Day, a national day of helping others – a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors.

Retired trucker Patrick Davis and his wife, Barb, choose a different project every year. They’ve even started their own private charitable foundation called “2 Cheer U Up! Inc.” to help others throughout the year.

For this year’s Make a Difference Day – Oct. 25, 2003 – the Davises’ organization has adopted the town of Stacy, NC, which was devastated by Hurricane Isabel Sept. 18. The Davises are collecting donations of food, clothing, building supplies, cleaning supplies and furniture to help ease the burden for these folks.

“Sadly, the government agencies that should be helping these residents have forgotten them, so it has fallen on the townspeople of Stacy to try and dig out and rebuild their homes and community by themselves,” Pat Davis said. “Our goal is to have at least two tractor-trailers of supplies to deliver to Stacy, NC, by the end of October, or beginning of November.”

The town’s 350 residents are having a tough time cleaning up the destruction left behind.

“Many of the town’s residents are over the age of 55,” Davis said. “And many are sick and living in homes that are dangerously close to falling in around them.”

If you can help by donating items, or transporting a load of supplies, contact Pat or Barb Davis of 2 Cheer U Up at (740) 264-7566.

Last year, the Davises were awarded one of 10 state awards in Ohio for their National Make a Difference Day Project – books and bears for children in domestic abuse and homeless shelters. They gave away more than 400 books and 400 teddy bears to 16 agencies in the Ohio valley area. This past Christmas, they donated $3,000 in toys to each of two sheriff’s departments in their area. Their foundation also created the Keith Davis Memorial Scholarships for graduating Jefferson County 4-H members, one boy and one girl each year.

Make A Difference Day is sponsored by USA Weekend Magazine and the nearly 600 newspapers that carry it. The 13th Make A Difference Day is Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003. For more information about Make a Difference Day, call 1-800-416-3824, e-mail diffday@usaweekend.com, or visit www.makeadifferenceday.com.

--by René Tankersley, feature editor

René Tankersley can be reached at renet@landlinemag.com.

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