Piedmont Community College (PCC) launched a new campaign in 2021 to expand its community service. The College is giving back and paying it forward by volunteering, cleaning roadways, and holding various drives to collect items such as books, pet supplies, and nonperishable food.
“Our communities are continuously supportive of PCC,” Dr. Barbara Buchanan, PCC Vice President, Instruction/Chief Academic Officer, said. “We want to support all parts of our communities in return, from children to senior citizens, food pantries, pet adoption, trash clean up, and beyond; we hope to do our part and pay it forward.”
As part of Pacers Pay It Forward, throughout the month of April, PCC offered ways, on campus, for students, staff, and faculty to give to Person and Caswell counties.
For the entire month, a youth book drive was held to collect gently used books for area children, but to give more, each week had its own specific group of items to collect. The first week of April focused on collecting pet supplies for local pet adoption organizations. Week two, April 12-16, had available boxes to collect nonperishable food for food pantries, and during the final week, April 26-30, each campus offered writing stations so individuals could craft thoughtful, handwritten letters for residents of local senior facilities.
Week three, April 19-23, had a first for PCC. The College hosted two blood drives through the American Red Cross, one on each campus. This was not the first time PCC hosted a blood drive on its Person County campus, as it saw its usual success of blood donations. Although, this was one of the Caswell County campus’ first blood drives, which saw enough community turnout, every available appointment was occupied.
“Having the blood drive with the mobile blood collection unit was an amazing experience,” Emily Buchanan, Director of Caswell County Campus Operations, said. “We had such success that the American Red Cross asked us if we would host again in July. They told us that we helped save many lives, and it doesn’t get much better than that.”
This year, members of the PCC faculty and staff also dedicated time to serve free hot dogs at the Christian Help Center to support those in need, hosted another free luncheon at the Caswell Senior Center, and took part in the Person County Litter Sweep collecting trash along Carver Drive in Roxboro, NC.
One of the highlights of the year happened in Caswell County as PCC partnered with Telamon Corporation to organize thousands of leftover unused items that would’ve been thrown away in landfills by Amazon, and give them away to residents of Person, Caswell, and Rockingham counties for free.
“This was the first event of its kind for both of our organizations, so we weren’t exactly sure how it was going to go,” Emily Buchanan said, “But it was an absolute success! We were scheduled to be on campus handing out boxes until 6 p.m., but by noon, we ran out of Amazon goods. Community members came out in droves to collect their free items, and we used it to promote our services and strengthen our presence in the community.”
“Throughout PCC’s 50 years, the College consistently works to give back to its communities,” Dr. Barbara Buchanan said. “Now our efforts has a name, and we’ll continue to pay it forward to the people of Person and Caswell county, who never cease to support us.”