One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for December 13, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
I believe that every community has places, niches, or homes that make you feel like you have been transformed to another place or community. I had that experience in the summer of 2013 when I got invited to a 50th birthday party for Myra Norton.
The view for Myra’s party
Myra is one of the owners of Greenstate Landscaping in Lumberton and one of her friends Suzanne Abbott allowed her to have her party at her home. Her home was complete with a pool, spa, vista’s of a lake, and a wonderful outdoor kitchen.
Picture of gazebo covering the Abbott’s spa
My wife works in real estate and knew where the Abbott’s lived. I did not. When we arrived at their home in the Oaks Community in Lumberton, NC I became mesmerized by the vistas and their fantastic backyard. The party was great fun but I really came away impressed by everything that their home had to offer on the outside. It was a space meant for sharing.
This past week I ran into Suzanne Abbott at a UNC Pembroke ribbon cutting and I got to realize what a servant leadership heart she has. Someone at that event told me what she did on her last birthday. Her birthday gift was serving and sharing with others.
Suzanne set up a GoFundMe account to benefit the Lumberton Christian and Community Center.
The Lumberton Christian Care Center (LCCC) is a soup kitchen and an emergency/transitional shelter serving Robeson County since 1985. They serve at least 2,000 meals a month and house anywhere from 50 – 200 people a month. They have 3 staff members and a board of 15.
Today December 13, 2015 the beautiful new LCCC will open with a ribbon cutting in their new location on 220 East Second Street in Lumberton, NC. This new facility will continue to provide meals, increased emergency housing, and classes for employment opportunities for our community.
Suzanne is married to Bo Abbott whose family is a Lumberton success story.
The Friend-SUZANNE ABBOTT with her daughter Jessica (left)
The Friend of the Friend-BO ABBOTT-shown with Suzanne
A family business started on a handshake
Suzanne’s husband Bo Abbott Jr. comes from a family that accomplished a lot in business. The remarkable thing is that the business contract for his family’ssuccess story was sealed with a handshake. Bo and Margaret Abbott in 1962 $400 borrowed from a friend and opened a grocery store called Bo’s Food Store in an old gas station on Carthage Road in Lumberton, NC.
From that humble beginning Bo’s Food Stores has grown into a 12 store locally owned and operated chain in southeastern North Carolina. Bo’s have been known for many years for the quality of the meats and produce, and competitive prices throughout the stores. Their stores are located in Robeson, Bladen, Hoke, Moore and New Hanover counties.
Over the next two month Bo’s Food Stores will begin a transition where the stores will operate under the Fresh Foods name likely beginning in January.
Bo Abbott Jr. like his wife Suzanne also knows a thing or two about giving back. Over the past twenty years the business had a program called Support Our Schools, Bo’s Food Stores donated $1,500 to any school that collects $150,000 in grocery receipts.
Whether it is letting a friend use your home for a birthday, creating a GoFundMe account for others on your birthday, or giving back to local schools the Abbott’s are special leaders.
I think I know why I felt like I was in a different place when I visited their home two years ago. Their home gave off that vive because the owners carried about others not themselves.