North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper visited Bertie County Tuesday to see the Hive House, which was referred to in the documentary “Raising Bertie County.”
Cooper said she had been “seeing a lot about the work Mrs. Vivian has been doing with this house, with the kids that she was serving.”
“We were anxious to come and see for ourselves,” she added.
Located at 103 Mitchell Street, a once boys alternate school is now being renovated into a community center.
The Hive serves not only young kids who come from poor backgrounds, but also the entiree community of Lewiston.
Nearly $200,000 worth of grant funding and donations have been put into the house.
With new utilities, flooring, exterior and much more, the Hive can expand its services, which include after school services, a food pantry and job skill training.
Cooper said she believes every community needs a place like this.
“Whether it’s in very rural areas or large cities, a place for children to be, to have a meal, to get help with their homework and to just have an adult around that cares what happens to them. So I think it will be wonderful.”
“Mrs. Cooper, through her resources, if she comes here and sees what is going on she can say, ‘They may have been at one level, but they’re trying,” said Vivian B. Saunders, founder of the Hive. “We’re not looking for a hand out; we’re looking for a hand up.”
Saunders said with all of the grant funding and donations pouring in, all the renovations should be complete by the middle of June.