The loss of a child. A home severely damaged by a hurricane. A job loss. A critical injury. Any one of these experiences is life altering.
For the Allison family of Mount Olive, they have experienced these things and more.
To help them, their church, Mount Olive Presbyterian, is hosting a drive-through spaghetti plate sale on Saturday, November 7 from noon to 3 p.m.
“This family has really gone through trials similar to that of Job,” said Bob Boyd, chairman of the church’s Spiritual Growth, Nurture and Care Committee, which is spearheading the fundraiser. “We wanted to do something to help.”
Jerry and Laverne Allison’s fourth child Caellah was born in 2014 with special needs. In her short five years, she experienced numerous hospitalizations and surgeries. She died last year.
In 2018, Hurricane Florence severely damaged the family’s home, forcing them to move out. Insurance covered only a portion of the repairs. Once insurance also stopped paying rent for a temporary home, the family was forced to move back in to moldy walls, missing ceilings and one working bathroom – with a damaged tub.
In 2019, Jerry lost his job and opted to work from home as a CPA. In August of this year, Jerry was on a ladder caulking the outside walls against leaks, and fell. He broke three vertebrae in his back and crushed his elbow. Surgery and physical therapy has him back walking with a cane, but nerve damage impacted use of his right hand. He has returned to his work, but it is slow going.
Adding insult to injury, on the way to Chapel Hill one day for Jerry’s treatment, the transmission in the family’s van died.
Boyd said the church has recently provided funds to restore the upstairs bathroom, and it has helped the Allisons make connections with local agencies that could help cover the cost of home repairs. Applications for grant funding are in process.
Tickets for the plate sale are $8. The drive through will be held in the church’s parking lot, at the corner of North Breazeale Avenue and West Main streets. The official address is 105 N. Breazeale Avenue in Mount Olive.
For tickets, call the church at 919-658-2044 or Lynn Williams at 919-581-3628.
In addition to the plate sale, the church is accepting donations for the family. Checks can be made payable to Mount Olive Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 158, Mount Olive, NC 28365. Secure online donations can also be made on the church’s website at www.mountolivepres.org. (Donors should choose In Memory/In Honor Of and designate the Allison Family.)
“This is a family in crisis,” Boyd said. “We know this community has a big heart, so we are hopeful we can help make a difference for them.