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.”


Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


Sussex Development is soliciting bids to turnkey supply and install FF&E for the new Tulls Creek Elementary School, 125 Campus Drive, Moyock, NC27929. This project is a new ground-up 2-story, Pre-K thru 5th grade school, approximately 118,000 square feet. Bid documents may be obtained through Christopher West Interiors LLC. Request bid documents via email to interiors@cwiusa.com. Pre-Bid RFIs will be accepted via email until Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 5:00PM EST. Pricing proposals are due Wednesday, August 14, 2024 by 5:00PM EST. All bids and inquires to be sent to interiors@cwiusa.com. Certified NC Hub, MBE, WBE, DBE, SBE are highly encouraged to participate. Sussex Development is an EOE and maintains a drug-free workplace.



  • 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