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  • Salisbury Post

    Local resident fired up to help community

    By Karen Kistler,

    27 days ago

    SPENCER — Having a heart for people who are in need is at the heart of why Brian Alford does whatever he can to support his community, and for his concern for others and giving back, he was recognized at Spencer’s monthly board of alderman meeting.

    However, for Alford, he says he is not alone in the things he does for the community, and “this has never been a one-man show. There are just so many people that have their hands in the things that I do in order to support the people in the community.”

    In making the announcement, Spencer’s Mayor Pro Tem Patti Seacrest said, “I take as much pride in our students and alumni as I do in my own children.”

    She said it was with pleasure to recognize Alford, who “most probably knows as a big North Rowan booster.”

    While he said he’s not real big on recognition, Alford did say this “means a lot. Being older you just realize there’s some stuff that tugs at your heart.”

    And the reason he does what he does is because there’s a need.

    “When Brian sees a concern, he tries to address it,” said Seacrest. “If we had more citizens like Brian, the world would be a better place. He makes everyone around him a better person.”

    When it comes to doing his part to help meet the needs of others, Alford gave thanks to God, as he said, “I’m just grateful for God being able to put me in positions to help in the ways that I can help.”

    And he says it’s not just him and he doesn’t do this on his own but it’s a community-based effort. “It’s the connections that I have that are making all of this possible. So much of this stuff I couldn’t do without the help of the community, so it’s been a blessing,” Alford said.

    He credits many others for their help including his parents Joe and Belinda Alford, who helps “in more ways than people think” telling about the food pantry at the church they attend and how it gives food to people he knows that need it.

    He said there are many pastors in the community who are engaged and have donated so people can have what they need, along with the Rowan County Deacons Alliance, which provides resources to help with rent, utilities and groceries.

    Alford shared how the community came together and helped provide money for someone who needed it and another instance of a homeless family getting assistance. When people have gotten this help, their reactions were of overwhelming gratitude.

    “It makes you proud to be able to help somebody else. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that some people are getting the help that they’re seeking,” he said.

    Alford said he understands what it means to be in need because he has been there, and this is why his heart goes out to those who face difficult times.

    He shared that he and his wife Kami lived in Raleigh for a time before they moved back to the area in 2010, and they faced a time when they lost everything. He said he lost two jobs in a row, they lost their home and cars and were truthfully homeless, living in the church they attended.

    Alford said things worked out for them to return to Salisbury, which wasn’t their plan, “but one thing I’ve learned,” he said, “is that God’s plan is better than any plan I could ever come up with.”

    While things were still hard when they returned, he said “God has really shown himself faithful to us, and we have been able to build our family life here.”

    The couple now has four children, sons, Jeremiah, Michael and Christian and daughter Eden.

    “We are all products of North Rowan,” he said as he pointed out that he and wife graduated from North Rowan, and all the children attend schools in North Rowan. “It’s almost like we’ve come back full circle.”

    Being in the same place as others who experience need, Alford said, “I know how it feels to not have and so when you see people that don’t have, it does something to you and it makes you want to be able to do what you can to make sure that they’re not in that most difficult situation.”

    One of the ways he has provided help is through his cooking, a job that he has loved doing, something his parents said he got from his grandmother, Annie Mae Alford.

    It was during spring break this year that he partnered with Pastor Derrick Hawkins with the Promise City Church to provide food for both kids and adults during this time. He said Hawkins had the idea, contacted him and he teamed up with him because he wanted to be a part of that.

    Alford said he set up a tent, his grill and one of his fryers and he and his dad cooked, Pastor Hawkins and his wife Roshonda, along with volunteers from the church, each doing their part, served everyone that came. They set up at North Rowan High School one day and Salisbury High School the next.

    “It worked out great,” Alford said, “There were so many people that came out those two days to get food. It was so awesome to see so many people be blessed.”

    Alford has been in the catering business for four years and just this past January has been able to be on a food truck, which he said is working out great.

    The food truck came about through his connection with John at the Salisbury Seafood Market, who wanted to buy a food truck but didn’t know anything about the business as far as cooking. Alford said orders a lot of his fish for his catering orders there and told him if he went forward with the idea, he would help as much as he could since he knew about cooking.

    “He did it and I ended up on the truck with him,” said Alford, “and it just so happened that he preferred me to run my business from it than him even continuing to do it himself. It’s amazing how things happen.”

    He still continues to cater, but now has a way to provide food for the public through the food truck, which is set up on the property of the Seafood Market, 912 Salisbury Highway, and is open for business Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    The name of the truck? He said it’s a way to pay homage to his grandmother Annie Mae, who passed along the love of cooking. It’s called ‘Sumtin T’eat,’ Alford said, a different spelling of what his grandmother always said in her very country sounding way that she spoke when calling the family to come get this something to eat.

    “I just took that little saying of hers and made it the name of my business,” which serves up fried fish, chicken wings, smoked chicken, homemade mac and cheese and more of his homemade southern cooking.

    “His food truck is pretty famous,” said Seacrest. “He has fed school staff and many times school teams. Those are the things he does with his food truck. That to me is a business that gives back to the community.”

    The post Local resident fired up to help community appeared first on Salisbury Post .

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