April 2012 - Group Spotlight - Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission (BROC)
Jo Phipps and her mother Betty White head up the team from the Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission (BROC) who help feed the hungry throngs who come to MerleFest each year. BROC is one of the nonprofit food vendors in the large food tent at the festival.
“With the time and effort of all who help us during MerleFest, we are able to give to the community much needed dollars to assist in the crises at hand. These range from health and nutrition for a Head Start child to home-delivered meals to elderly shut-ins to urgent repairs for the home and many other programs. We have brochures available at our booth with information about these programs in order to get the word out to the community as to who we are and how we might help. Quite frankly, without volunteer opportunities like MerleFest, nonprofit organizations like BROC would be in dire need, and the people of Wilkes County would be hurting more.”
The group also enjoys the opportunity to give back to Wilkes Community College. “We see the results of our efforts in all the new programs, buildings, technology, etc. that the college can provide the students of Wilkes.”
BROC volunteers led by Jo, Betty, and Jo’s father, Warren, will be back at MerleFest 25 serving burritos, tacos, vegetarian beans, taco salads, rice, cheese quesadillas, chips, salsa and churros. After MerleFest they will be busy serving the people of Wilkes County who are in crisis by providing food, shelter, fuel, electricity, prescription assistance and much more.