The Eagle’s Nest at Douglas High School is a school pantry that allows the high school students an opportunity to “shop” for supplies that they may need such as food, toiletries and school supplies. These items are free for the students.
Business administrator of The River Church Melissa Corbin said that it is a church outreach program, but it is not limited to just their church. Many people from the community have donated items for the Eagle’s Nest.
This pantry was formed just after Thanksgiving last year. Corbin said it was brought to their attention by the facility at Douglas explaining the great need at the Douglas campus. It was modeled after the Wildcat Pantry in Guntersville. Corbin said that they still help with needs at Guntersville, but they have expanded to other locations as well.
After speaking with the administration at Douglas, the school was able to clear a portable classroom for the Eagle’s Nest. Brindlee Mountain High School also has an area for a pantry.
She said that their greatest needs are toiletries, ready to eat easily prepared meals, clothing for teens, shoes, jackets and blankets. There were several students that came to the pantry in need of shoes because theirs were falling apart.
If they do not have what a student needs, they will find a way to get it. Last year, a female student told the pantry that she did not have a bed. Corbin said that she put the word out that they were looking for a bed and it was not long before they had her a bed.
At the beginning of Eagle’s Nest, there were not too many students, but by the end of the school year, there were 50 to 60 students coming though for help.
The pantry will be open every Friday from 10 a.m. until noon. They will open the week after school starts back although they will be organizing sooner than that.
BoxTruck Boutique in Boaz supplied the Eagle’s Nest with eight clothing racks so it makes it easier for the students to find the clothing they want. She said that the most popular items are blue jeans and t-shirts, but some students have requested nice clothing. Several have said that they would like to be able to attend church, but they did not have appropriate clothing for going to church.
Corbin said that it was nice to volunteer her time at the Eagle’s Nest. The students were shy at first, but after a while they opened up to the staff there. It was surprising to her how many students were living with their grandparents or another relative that was not their mother or father. This really helped those families because they were able to get extra food or items that they needed.
Last year they had prom dresses as well. They are hoping to be able to do that again this year. That was a big hit and helped so many that could not afford them another way.
She said she did not realize the great need in the community until she was there. It was great to be able to help and sometimes these students just needed someone to talk to for a few minutes.
The River Church is looking into expanding the pantry to a mobile unit. Asbury school has explained that there is a need in their community, but they do not have an area for the pantry to be set up.
The church received a donation of a box truck that they are attempting to make the mobile unit. They would like to have it going before school starts back so that they can help those in need. She said that this mobile unit would not just be for schools, but they would also set it up during the summer as well.
Their most requested items besides clothing is food and toiletries. She said that shampoo, body wash, toothpaste and deodorants are items that go fairly quick. In the winter months, they go through blankets and coats. As for food, she said boxed foods that are easily prepared, snack bars and breakfast foods.
The Eagle’s Nest is accepting donations now. You can donate items to the school, at The River Church or by contacting Corbin and someone could come get it from you.
They are also in need of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer contact Corbin at The River Church.