We have been supporting residents of McDowell County for several years. As we continue to bring food and supplies, we also want to help the community tell its story to the world. This could help the county find long-term solutions to its problems. That's why this year, we interviewed several influential people in the area.
We spoke with Marjie Moore, an inspiring woman who leads the School For Life and Sunlight Ministry alongside Jack Fultz. Marjie grew up in Virginia, where she ran a restaurant business. One day, curiosity led her to leave her home and join Jack’s mission effort. Having heard about the struggles of West Virginians, she felt compelled to see the situation with her own eyes. Marjie Googled “mission work” and discovered the “School For Life.” She contacted Jack, who invited her to visit. Little did she know that she would end up there for years to come.
During her first visit to McDowell, she bonded with a little girl. When it was time for her to return home to Virginia, the girl was heartbroken. Marjie thought of the little girl all the way home, which helped her decide to return.
Curiosity brought me to McDowell County. Children kept me here.Marjie
After becoming involved in the community, she realized how strenuous life is for its residents. The kindness of its people and the beauty of its nature also surprised her. Eventually, she learned the true satisfaction of mission work; and dedicated her life to helping the children of this region.
McDowell is a place you cannot feel with your head; you must feel it with your heart.Marjie
Once you see the beauty of the mountains and the people here, you'll never forget it.
Marjie worked with Jack to implement many programs for the kids. They realized those children are desperate for someone to show an interest in them, love them, and give them a vision of a bright future.
Derek, Jack, and Carol had told me earlier that people here would benefit from a change in mentality and way of thinking. I’ve heard the same message from Marjie.
The kids here, they believe they are poor because they are told that.Marjie
A little girl once walked up to me and said, Mrs. Marjie, I'm poor.
To which I replied, No, you're not. You're too young to be poor.
And a lightbulb went on in this child's brain.
In an effort to change the way children think and develop a positive outlook on life in them, School for Life offers several programs. Working on projects such as printing t-shirts, kids earn an allowance while learning valuable skills.
Marjie asks people to support the development of these kids by sending more than food and clothes; she asks people to help change how these kids think.
We get a lot of donations, which is great, but while sending clothes, send a book. That works as well.Marjie
At the end of our interview, she sent a message to the children of McDowell County.
I expect the absolute best of you. If you put your mind to it, there is nothing you cannot do. And School For Life is here to help you, so you don't have any excuse.Marjie