A post on OBX Locals sparks community kindness

By on November 17, 2023

Ashley Barnes has learned a lot about the benefits of Outer Banks community spirit.

A recent post on the OBX Locals Facebook site has generated a lot of attention and interaction. And it’s all for a good cause.

Ashley Barnes, who moved to the Outer Banks from Lisbon, Ohio eight years ago, started the thread after seeing it posted in a local group in her hometown.

In her Nov. 10 Locals post, Barnes wrote: “What is the one thing you need but cannot afford right now. Everyone check to see what others say. Maybe you have it and don’t need it or have a connection to get it. You never know who we can help or how we can help each other. With the holiday season coming upon us I thought it would be nice to see as a community what we can do to help one another. I am hoping to be able to bless someone. I am hoping others will join in…”

Barnes explains that part of the reason for the post is that she can relate to people in need. She and her husband Dakota were struggling when they decided to move to the Outer Banks eight years ago.

“We thought if we’re going to struggle, let’s struggle somewhere beautiful,” says Barnes. She and her husband sold all of their belongings and moved to the Outer Banks with $1,500 in their pocket. Barnes says it’s the strong sense of community support that has allowed them to still be here eight years later.

“Our community is so awesome that when you put something out there like that, it really just sparks people. It gets people moving to, you know, start helping others,” says Barnes. Another private Facebook Group, Buy Nothing Dare County, offers members an opportunity “give away, lend, or share” in the community group.

Within 24 hours, her post had drawn hundreds of comments, with people sharing things they desperately need but can’t afford, like dryers, stoves, clothes for their children, toys, and furniture. The range of needs went from small items from around the house to larger needs such as an affordable place to live. For some of the more basic requests, locals offered up their extra items. For larger requests, community members sent tips and links to affordable homes for rent around the Outer Banks.

“When people become unified, that’s a powerful thing. A lot of needs can get met that way,” says Barnes. But, she adds, “It’s not always about material items. Maye somebody just needs help planting flowers or something. It’s about just getting more involved in the community.”

While Barnes explains she doesn’t have many material items to donate, one item she saw in the comments was a request for volunteers at a Christmas Festival in Wanchese. So she signed up to give time for that.

“There’s always something you can do,” says Barnes.

Melanie Beasley, a Currituck resident, commented that she was in desperate need of an affordable lawyer to get the deed to her parents’ house in her name so that she could refinance it after her father recently passed away.

“It’s a complicated situation, but we are sinking faster than the Titanic and I don’t want to lose the only physical thing I have left of them,” her comment stated.

One woman owns a title and escrow company responded and offered her assistance and notarization services at no charge. Others offered advice on what to do. Beasley explains that this was a huge relief.

“It was awesome. My life has been so stressful the last few years,” Beasley tells the Voice, explaining that her mother passed in 2019 followed by her father in 2021 and that she and her family moved into the house a few months later. “We had absolutely no idea what we were doing when it came to estates and deeds. We have been trying to figure things out and hitting brick walls for two years now.”

As of now, Barnes’ original post it is still going strong with 390 comments. And many people are still making plans for pick-ups and drop-offs, working on the logistics for their exchanges.

Gail Hutchison, a moderator for the OBX Locals page who is also president at OBX Room in the Inn, applauds these exchanges inside the Facebook group, and agrees with Barnes that the people are always ready to step up.

“This community is always willing, ready to support the various organizations that assist those who are in need, be it human, animals or the environment,” says Hutchison. “It’s corny, but sharing is caring.”


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Comments

  • Sully52

    Just when you think the whole world has gone to hell, things like this pop up. God bless everyone involved.

    Friday, Nov 17 @ 4:38 pm
  • Penny

    Can you provided a link to the thread?

    Saturday, Nov 18 @ 12:36 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    It is private group. But you can join OBX Locals

    Saturday, Nov 18 @ 11:04 am
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