Art helps feed the hungry
Since 2007, a local Christian ministry has been helping take a bite out of hunger through a weekly food distribution center.
What began as a small emergency food pantry at Middle Fork Baptist Church near Blowing Rock four years ago, quickly outgrew its first two locations before finding a permanent home a year later.
Today, the Christian Outreach Center, sponsored by Three Forks Baptist Association and located on the first level of First Baptist Church on King Street in Boone, is making an impact in many lives — one food bag at a time.
Dozens of community volunteers give of their time to help feed approximately 2,600 individuals a month through a weekly food distribution and weekend backpack bags for schoolchildren.
Relying on the generosity of the community for its ongoing success, the organization is always searching for innovative ways to help fund the demands of its ministry.
Just in time to meet the increased seasonal needs that surround the holidays and the challenges that accompany winter, the Christian Outreach Center is offering the community one more opportunity to help fund its needs.
The opportunity to sell a selection of all occasional cards — described as “literal works of art” — will go a long way in helping keep families and schoolchildren fed.
The cards feature two paintings by local award-winning artist Kyle Keeter, who is known for his paintings and drawings depicting a piece of history that is quickly disappearing — treasured cornerstones of the area and unique perspectives of life in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Keeter not only produced the prints, but he has also donated the reproductions to the ministry.
He also designed and donated the center’s logo.
With the added assistance of printing provided by Wendy’s of Boone, all proceeds from the sales will go directly into the ministry.
The large cards feature a reproduction of a watercolor of St. John’s Church in Valle Crucis, surrounded by a typical winter mountain scene of trees and snow and a young lad in the foreground feeding birds.
The original watercolor is currently hanging in Revive, a books and art venue at 1116-5 Main St., Blowing Rock, where Keeter has a show of 14 original paintings and prints on exhibit.
Included inside the card is a reproduction of a color painting depicting a little boy boarding a school bus, carrying his weekend food bag from the Christian Outreach Center.
The cards are selling for $5 each and are suitable for birthdays, get well wishes and anniversaries, as well as holiday greetings at Christmas, or simply thoughtful gestures anytime of the year. They can also be easily transformed into framed art — especially the cover reproduction of St. John’s Church.
The proceeds will contribute to the center’s ongoing program of providing food to individuals or families and weekend lunch bags to schoolchildren.
The center currently assembles 375 lunch bags each week to be distributed through Watauga County and feeds hundreds through its Monday distribution of food in bags and boxes from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church.
Outreach Center gift cards can be purchased from the offices of the First Baptist Church of Boone and the Three Forks Baptist Association at 513 Jefferson Road, as well as from any of the Boone Drug drugstores: at 345 Deerfield Road; downtown, 617 West King St.; King Street, 202 West King St.; New Market shopping center, 245 New Market Center; Foscoe, 520 Church Road; and Blowing Rock, 379 Sunset Drive.
For more information on how you can help with your donations of time and funding, contact Larry Woodrow, director, at (828) 264-2441; or the Three Forks Baptist Association at 264-4482 or the First Baptist Church of Boone at 264-2441.