Last updated: June 01. 2013 12:17PM - 231 Views
Darcie Dyer
Staff Writer

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In response to the tragic deaths of two Elkin children, Jessica Gilliam and Arthur Blackwell, Johnson Funeral Home volunteered to raise money for the family’s expenses, and was able to collect $3,485 with the community’s help.

A special Jessica Gilliam and Arthur Blackwell Memorial Account was immediately set up through Johnson Funeral Home at Yadkin Valley Bank following the deaths.

Elkin Valley Baptist church donated two burial plots for the children and a plot for their mother, Kathryn Gilliam. Johnson Funeral Home purchased two headstone monuments for Gilliam and Blackwell and had $1,485 left over.

“We decided to donate that remaining money to Elkin Elementary School’s ‘Feed the Elks’ backpack program,” said Molli Jo Johnson, funeral director at Johnson Funeral Home.

Feed the Elks is a year-long hunger initiative program for needy children who may not have enough food to eat over the weekend. Through Feed the Elks, Elkin Elementary school is able to send food home to needy students for their meals on Saturday and Sunday.

“We chose the Feed the Elks program because Jessica and Arthur had attended Elkin Elementary School and we knew it was a good cause,” Johnson said.

Johnson Funeral Home would like to thank all the anonymous donors.

“It was wonderful to see how this community stepped up and came together after something so tragic,” Johnson said.

Reach Darcie Dyer at 835-1513 or ddyer@heartlandpublications.com.

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