By Charlotte Smith
Jeffery Bryan from Wilmington left a reminder about Roger’s Wish project recently on our Guestbook page. The annual blanket and sleeping bag collection in a beloved community member’s honor continues in Bladen County.
“Please donate your blankets and sleeping bags to the annual Roger`s Wish project that is now underway,” Bryan posted.
He added, “Items can be dropped off at the Bladen County Library. The project is running through October 16th.”
Roger Grunder (pictured above) was known as a homeless man in Bladen County with a compassion for others. Mr. Grunder volunteered at the Bladen Crisis Center and attended Open Door Ministries, according to Carolina Country magazine.
In 2013, Mr. Grunder spoke with Mr. Curt Vincent, who was the editor and general manager of a local newspaper, to start a project collecting sleeping bags and blankets for those in need. Mr. Vincent and Mr. Grunder made an agreement to start the project.
Then on August 29th of the same year, after Mr. Grunder was baptized at Open Door Ministries, a loving church member gave him a car. Unfortuntely, he was killed when his car left the road and overturned that same evening, according to the magazine report.
In Mr. Grunder’s memory, Mr. Vincent and the Bladen County community continued on with the project, naming it Roger’s Wish. Over the years there have been almost 1,000 items collected to help keep people warm during the cold winter.
The items are distributed to the area’s homeless population and those in need. Donations may be dropped off at the Bladen County Library located at 111 S. Cypress Street in Elizabethtown.