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Statesville Woman's Club donates to Bella's Backpacks, sets Christmas luncheon plans

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Members of the General Federation of Woman’s Club of North Carolina Statesville Woman’s Club help to assemble Bella Backpacks. From left are Megan Miller; Valerie Oliphant; Dana White, club president; Laurie Latragna; Barb Thorson and Bella’s grandmother; Deena Chambers; Tanisha Schoolfield; Isabella DiFiore, founder of Bella’s Backpacks; and Kim Turner.

The General Federation of Women’s Club of North Carolina Statesville Woman’s Club October project focus was for Bella’s Backpacks.

The backpacks consist of comfort items for children who go through the Dove House. Club members, guests and people from the community donated such items as small blankets, journals, coloring books, colored pencils, individual tissue pickets and hairbrushes. Then club members, potential members and guests gathered at the clubhouse to help assemble the backpacks.

Bella’s Backpacks were started by 13-year-old Isabella DiFiore, daughter of Steve and Jennifer DiFiore of Statesville and the reigning Carolina Dogwood Teen Princess 2022. She started making the backpacks in January 2022 as a way to give back to the community and help The Dove House.

She started them because she wanted to do something to make the children who come to The Dove House feel special and that someone cares and know that there is hope in their worst moments. The backpacks contain a blanket, hygiene items, journal, coloring book, pencils, a pen, crayons, markers, stress ball, hand sanitizer, reusable water bottle, tissues, a snack, a small stuffed animal or toy and a message of hope from Isabella. The message reads “I have overcome some of the most difficult situations and come out Stronger” and also includes her favorite Scripture: “I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens Me” (Philippians 4:13).

To date, with the help of donors, Isabella has filled more than 140 backpacks. In addition to the Statesville Woman’s Club, others who have donated to Isabella’s community service project are Kintegra Health Statesville, Mitchell Community College, Gamma Alpha Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, Fidelis Tau Chapter of ADK, Phi Chapter of ADK in Winston Salem, Retired Iredell-Statesville Schools Personnel group, Levine Cancer Institute nurse navigators, employees of NGK Ceramics in Mooresville, Janice Tutt, and many friends, family and community members.

For information on the club or about renting its clubhouse for a meeting or event, email or call 704-761-8208. For details on joining the club, call membership Chair Stephanie Gill at 704-657-5008. The club has also updated its website at

Christmas luncheon set

The club’s next meeting will be its December luncheon on Dec. 1 at the historic clubhouse at 515 W. End Ave.

There will be a time of fellowship at 11:30 a.m., program at 11:45 a.m. and meal at 12:15 p.m. Reservations must be made by 6 p.m. Nov. 27; contact club Second Vice President Wanda Rushton at 704-450-4122. The meal is $10. All members, guests and interested women are invited to attend.

The program will be a time of fun, games and music. There will be an ornament exchange (to participate bring a $5 or less ornament to exchange), Christmas bingo and singing Christmas carols. Also, a special musical performance by club member NaKayla Griffin, 2022 Gospel’s Finest Singing Competition winner, who was sponsored by the Circle of Giving Women’s Organization.

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