By William Holloman
The historic Holmes house at 204 North Center Street has been vacant for years. Its current owners completely renovated the historic two-story structure several years ago.
Now, it has a tenant.
All The King’s Children founder and director Marcia Whitley said the organization has signed a two-year lease to utilize the old home for a variety of purposes.
Town Manager Charles Brown said he welcomes the plans of the organization. “It will be nice to have something going on there.”
Ms. Whitley said the two-year lease agreement has been signed with the home’s current owners, Connie Wells and Gene Lilley. “The owners have graciously allowed us to use the property for several fundraising events over the past year, and for packing 500 personal care kits for this year’s Back to School celebration,” Ms. Whitley said. “We will work to move in and raise funds needed to purchase furnishings and set up the home for our use over the next several weeks.”
Ms. Whitley said ATKC will use part of the home for a new program known as Olive Art: Creativity for Community. “Through this program, we will sell donated or consigned art work, repurposed and upcycled furniture, and local crafts to the public. Olive Art will help offset overhead costs, as well as allow us to bring in teens to learn job skills,” she said.
She said initially the program will be open on Saturdays.
Ms. Whitley said, “Any local artisans interested in participating are encouraged to contact us, because we will need them in order for it to be successful.”
Another area of the old home will be set up to allow for dual purposes: to serve as a satellite location for the current Rones Chapel Area Community Center Tutor to the Top program. Funds are still being sought to set up that program, and Ms. Whitley said she hopes to have it operating this fall.
She said there has already been a “generous donation” from the Mount Olive Rotary Club to help with the program.
She said the same space will also be available for functions such as fundraisers, civic group meetings, and other small parties or events.
“It is all designed to raise monies to meet our mission of serving children with needs in our community,” she said. “We are grateful to Connie and Gene for allowing us the opportunity to use their property for the next two years so that we may grow and meet the needs of the children in our communities.”
Further information may be obtained by contacting Ms. Whitley at 919-252-KIDS, or allthekingschildren.org.