Club col­lects li­nens for hur­ri­cane vic­tims

‘Li­nens of Love’ drive aids vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Florence

The Progress-Index Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Kelsey Re­ichen­berg Staff Writer

A group of women from all over the Tri-Cities who are mem­bers of the in­ter­na­tional non-aca­demic Beta Sigma Phi soror­ity worked to­gether re­cently to col­lect li­nens for vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Florence.

Mem­ber Rose Bick­ings first came up with the idea to col­lect li­nens for hur­ri­cane vic­tims when her sis­ter and nieces, who live not far out­side Wilm­ing­ton, N.C., re­ceived the brunt of Hur­ri­cane Florence. She no­ticed or­ga­ni­za­tions were do­nat­ing mostly food, and she wanted to pro­vide some­thing that was also use­ful but dif­fer­ent.

“I said, 'What can we do?' I saw peo­ple were bring­ing food, food, food, food, food so I went hmmm ... li­nens of love,” said Bick­ings. “I brought [the idea] to our per­sonal chap­ter, and they said, ‘Yes, let’s do it.’”

Bick­ings’ idea re­sulted in mem­bers of the lo­cal chap­ters of Beta Sigma Phi, as well as fam­ily, friends and com­mu­nity mem­bers, do­nat­ing items in­clud­ing tow­els, li­nens, wash­cloths, hand tow­els, blan­kets, quilts, rugs, sheets, toi­letries and more from their own linen clos­ets.

“Ev­ery­one can go in their linen clos­ets and find some­thing they haven’t touched in years,” Bick­ings said. “It doesn’t have to be brand new.

“My mother-in-law gave blan­kets, brand new tow­els she had never used, [and] sheets,” she added. “She’s 92, and she gave.”

One club mem­ber who is a Prince Ge­orge County res­i­dent of­fered to take all of the do­nated items to Lan­den Strap­ping, a busi­ness in the county that has held mul­ti­ple hur­ri­cane re­lief do­na­tion drives and then trans­ported the col­lected items to North Carolina. Lan­den Strap­ping of­fered to help the soror­ity get their items to where they’re needed in North Carolina.

Beta Sigma Phi has more than 200,000 mem­bers from all over the world. The group par­tic­i­pates an­nu­ally in phil­an­thropic events of all kinds, in­clud­ing aware­ness walks, help­ing the needy dur­ing the hol­i­days, and as­sist­ing youth.

“Ev­ery­thing we do is about ca­ma­raderie,” Bick­ings said.

[KELSEY RE­ICHEN­BERG/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Mem­bers of the Beta Sigma Phi in­ter­na­tional soror­ity col­lect ‘Li­nens of Love’ to be do­nated to vic­tims of Hur­ri­cane Florence.

[KELSEY RE­ICHEN­BERG/PROGRESS-IN­DEX. COM]

Some of the ‘Li­nens of Love’ col­lected by Beta Sigma Phi in­ter­na­tional soror­ity are dis­played at the Colo­nial Heights Pub­lic Li­brary.

[KELSEY RE­ICHEN­BERG/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Beta Sigma Phi mem­bers un­load bags of do­nated li­nens from their ve­hi­cles on Wed­nes­day evening dur­ing their meet­ing at the Colo­nial Heights Pub­lic Li­brary.

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