Long Form Projects
Remarkable Women: Carmela Spikes-Williams uses positive outlook to pave paths to success
VIDALIA, Ga. (WSAV) – As a community leader, mother of seven, and eternal optimist, Carmela Spikes-Williams is known as someone who will always help you forge a path forward. March is Women’s History Month, and as one of WSAV’s Remarkable Women finalists, Carmela is no stranger to adversity. “I’ve had a lot of really low lows,” she said. “My mom was a single mom working two jobs all the time and three at Christmas. One year I was kidnaped and raped, to dropping out of high school in 11th grade, being a teen mom, going back to school finishing as an honor graduate and then for a couple of years, I was just kind of floating around. Then I went back to school and when I went back to school — everything changed.”
Remarkable Women: Suerena Duvall fostered more than 100 kids while fighting for food security
HINESVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) – This mother of many might come from a tucked-away community, but her impact is anything but small. At age 4, Suerena Duvall suffered second and third-degree burns when her flannel nightgown caught on fire as she tried to stay warm by an open fire. Spending months in the hospital, the community caregiver said years of bullying led her to find her faith — choosing to not let adversity stand in the way of her making a difference.
Remarkable Women: Rose Grant-Wiseman devotes life to helping children overcome trauma
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Empathy defines the life of WSAV’s Remarkable Women finalist Rose Grant-Wiseman, an advocate with a mission to never leave any child behind. “Kids just want you to listen to them; they just want you to sit down and to just hear what they have to say. Sometimes we think, ‘Oh this doesn’t mean anything,’ but it means a lot to that child. It’s everything to that child,” the executive director of the Coastal Children Advocacy Center explained.
Remarkable Women: Debry Thompson shapes futures one child at a time
BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – Motivating young people to pursue their potential is the focus of WSAV’s Remarkable Women finalist from the Lowcountry. From educating to fostering an atmosphere where every child feels comfortable to share, Debry Thompson has become a mother to dozens of kids who get the chance to follow in her footsteps. “It’s really humbling to see the kids, the love and the bonding they have with Debry,” Ginny Bankov said. “When they get off the bus, most of them are running to the door.”
Hunger Action: America’s Second Harvest leads fight against hunger in coastal Georgia
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Hunger hurts every community. Right now, organizations across the country are stepping up to help families at risk this Hunger Action Month. America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia is leading the way in the Peach State. More than 1.5 million people statewide are combatting food insecurity and in the coastal region, over 175,000 qualify for food assistance.
Hunger Action: Food bank school pantry program feeds thousands
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The fear of not being able to put food on the table is a reality for a growing number of families across the country. America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia reports 64% of children in the Coastal Empire live below the poverty level. Thousands of children struggling with food insecurity are getting help from the charity whose mission is to “make sure no kid goes to bed hungry.” “I’ve been in education now for 28 years and I’ve seen kids fill their pockets with food from the cafeteria wanting to take food home because they didn’t know when the next meal was coming. A program like this — it just is one less worry for that child,” Kimberly Newman, the principal at Hesse K-8 School, said.
Hunger Action: Canstruction collaboration inspires community action
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Food shouldn’t be an impossible choice, but those difficult decisions continue to grow as we head into a time of year local organizations say is especially challenging for families. Putting a spotlight on hunger and food insecurity one can at a time, Canstruction, a nationwide exhibition, uses innovation and creativity to inspire action. “It’s about giving back to people that don’t have a lot and to me that’s what we are all here for,” Zenos Morris, the project manager for Court Atkins Architects, explained.
Hunger Action: A call for volunteers as food bank heads into their busiest season
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Nationwide, more than 40 million people get food assistance through the help of community service programs. The pandemic taught us the true meaning of community — people from all walks of life realizing when we help each other we can change lives. “Until I walk in their shoes, I don’t know what they’re going through. So you never know what difference you can make by volunteering,” Mary Jane Crouch, the Executive Director for America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, explained.