Local minister, performer seeks blanket donations

Ordained Christian minister Anita Singleton Prather, known by many as singer/storyteller Aunt Pearlie Sue, wants donations of clean, gently used and new blankets for disadvantaged children.

Prather and her group of singers and dancers, the Gullah Kinfolk, will accept blankets Friday, Dec. 5 at their annual Gullah feast, art exhibit and performance of the original musical, the Gullah Kinfolk Christmas Wish. The event begins at 7 p.m. at USCB’s Center for the Arts, 801 Carteret St., Beaufort.

Blankies 4 My Buddies began last year in Charleston. Seven-year-old C.J. Matthews, a student at Laurel Hill Primary School, wanted to prevent kids from being cold and lonely. C.J.’s mother, Kristen Wright-Matthews, and her husband, Chris, hoped the project would teach their son the value of giving to others.

“We thought we’d buy a few blankets to donate and that would be it, but C.J. really got into the work and here we are,” Wright-Mathews said.

Through her work in the church and community, Singleton Prather has seen first-hand how poverty, abandonment, drugs and crime have affected the lives of children in Beaufort. “There is too much pain throughout our area and innocent children are often the ones who suffer the most. A warm blanket can provide some comfort in a harsh world.”

“We will have a large box in the lobby for donations of blankets at our Christmas event. We hope all who attend will pitch in and add to our collection, which will be donated to Beaufort charities and churches that will provide the blankets free of charge to children in need,” she said.

Prather plans to make her blanket collection an annual event and is dedicating her effort to a local child, Zion Christopher Cook,  who died of cancer at 6.

Last year, Blankies 4 My Buddies collected more than 100 blankets in the Charleston area, and C.J. has already exceeded this year’s goal of 200.  Donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com/blankies4mybuddies.

For more information or to coordinate a collection site in Beaufort, call 404-641-7195 or email theardentagency@gmail.com.

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