Up & Coming Weekly

November 16, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM NOVEMBER 17-23, 2021 UCW 13 Carl Pringle has roots in the Fayetteville community. Prin- gle's mother was raised here, and in 1993 Pringle moved to Fayetteville from Washington D. C. He is a father of four, a daughter and three sons. His sons also live in Fayetteville. Pringle retired from the Good- year Tire and Rubber Plant five years ago. While in Washington D. C., Pringle was deeply impressed by Party At e Park, a series of community events held in the area. Upon his arrival to Fayetteville, he sought to recre- ate these events with the plan to create "some positive" in the community. e events, which involved renting out parks and hiring a D. J. to provide a safe, fun and positive space, were smaller in attendance than he hoped. But even with smaller numbers, they were creating the positive he was looking to manifest. A party-in-the-park-goer stopped after one event to thank Pringle for organizing the event. It was then that Pringle realized it wasn't about number of attendees, but about making the best of those who had made it out for the event. is event and that realization were just the beginning. Pringle has built a community of help- ers, and together they selflessly give back to his mother's home- town. Together they help where they can when they can. His main event has come together over seven anksgivings. Seven years ago, Pringle stopped in at a local restaurant to purchase plates of food for a family in need during the holidays, and each year the measure by which he and his community give back has been amplified. e theme of his anksgiving event has evolved into We Are 1 Big Family. Pringle explains that many different groups, motor- cycle clubs, and groups from throughout the community have become part of the family and the team over the years. "We don't care who is doing it ; we look at the mission on hand," Pringle said. "We try to touch as many people as we can." Last year when Operation Turkey was canceled due to CO- VID-19, Pringle's group stepped up to deliver over 1000 plates to families in Spring Lake and an additional 500 to 600 plates in Lumberton. In addition, he created Lunch On Us. Carl and his army of community-minded help- ers handed out food plates across different locations in Fayetteville for twenty-seven weeks on Sundays. ey served chicken, hot dogs, burgers, anything they could get their hands on to cook in sup- port of feeding the community. "If you can kill it, I can cook it," Pringle explained. e hope was to fill the gap that school meals and weekend events might miss for hungry families in the community. e event is ongoing but has shifted to one Sunday every month. "I didn't want to burn out the volunteers," Pringle said. e Lunch On Us crew cur- rently serves free lunch to those in need on the corner of Bragg Boulevard and Johnson Street. is location serves a purpose. Pringle strategically hands out meals at this intersection near the Bonnie Doone community because he feels this is a place in need. Pringle explained the nearest safe spaces, Westover Recre- ation Center and College Lakes Recreation Center are too far to walk to. Pringle said that the Bonnie Doone area is a place that needs "some positive." Pringle hopes one day to purchase a home in this area to create an extension of a safe space, a place where everyone who walks into the yard can leave the negative behind. "When they walk in the yard, they are in a safe place," Prin- gle explained. "e best way to bring people's property values up is to invest in our communi- ties." is year anksgiving will see Pringle and his crew serving the community as they have for the last six years. ey will be plating up turkey, stuffing and rolls; the vegetables will vary. ese meals are available for pick-up and delivery for indi- viduals and families. "We try to touch as many people as we can," Pringle said. "Everybody comes together; they are all part of the family." is year food will be plated and distributed from the team's base station at 541 Bonanza Dr. (behind Ponderosa Shopping Center). Individuals looking for a warm anksgiving plate or those who want to donate or volunteer and support the We are 1 Big Family event can reach Pringle via Facebook or at 910- 584-0203. "Please help us help others," Pringle said. Spreading a little positive, planning a Thanksgiving feast for those in need by EMILY SUSSMAN Above: Carl Pringle cooks chicken and hotdogs for community members. (Photo by Falcon Focus) Below: Carl Pringle sits on the steps of the house that would be "Uncle Carl's Safe Space." is home is intended to be safe haven for anyone in the neigborhood. (Photo by L3 Brand Photography) Carl Pringle works the grill at a Lunch on Us event. Carl and his army of community-minded helpers hand out food plates one Sunday a month. (Photo by Anthony Peterson/A Flag to Remember) EMILY SUSSMAN, Editor. COMMENTS? editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. SPIRIT OF GIVING

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