PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - It's a Wednesday and Patricia Fletcher knows Hays, a grocery store in Paragould, has a large box of chips and crackers waiting for her to pick up. The individual packages will help to fill needs in nearby backpack program.
"Oh, this is so needed," Fletcher said. "Oh my gosh! This goes in those backpacks around Caraway."
Filling needs have been Fletcher's focus now for seven years. She raises her cell phone to show a recent post on Facebook.
"This is where I'm posting that we have mattresses available," Fletcher said. "I did this yesterday and here is 20 comments of people who need them."
A Facebook group, created by Fletcher, grew out of a simple request. She asked friends to pray for her daughter struggling with debilitating migraine headaches.
"It's a God thing," Fletcher said. "It's a God thing."
While that prayer wasn't answered, another was.
There was a fire and a family needed help. That same group of friends heard about it and gathered clothing and food.
"It been like wildfire (ever since)," Fletcher said.
The "Wanting, Needing, Giving" group was born.
"If you've got it, you don't need it, give it. You don't want it. We can find a home for it," Fletcher said.
Fletcher knew she couldn't do this alone. So, she has a dedicated group of friend volunteers, who act as "admins," or administrators to the site. She and they look for needs 24/7 and then work to fill them through individual donors and businesses like Hays.
"The needs are unbelievable when you get out there and start looking for them and they start looking for you," Fletcher said.
Mothers in need of milk for their babies, clothing, even help filling out paperwork to go to college.
"You have no clue when a kid doesn't think they can go to college," Fletcher said.
"Wanting, Needing, Giving" says Fletcher, is wings without the "I." And while she says the group has never been about her, it wouldn't have started without her. That love for people and sharing is about to be rewarded in a big way.
We've come to the Mission Outreach in Paragould. Pat is inside working on a clothing closet. We are hidden in the next room waiting to surprise her on Valentine's Day.
"It's no coincidence that we are here on a day set aside for love… because this is all about the love that you have for this community and how you have given over and over again," I said to Fletcher. "You are the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness."
"Thank you for all that you do for the community," Alan Williams, First Community Bank Community President, said.
Pat is moved to tears too because this is the first Valentine's without her husband, who passed away last year. She said he was her biggest cheerleader and support of the group. Another is the young woman who nominated her.
"Pat doesn't take no for an answer," Jessica Langston said.
Jessica owes her life to Pat.
"The guy that I was with then, beat me and raped me and left me for dead. Pat found me two days later still lying in a pool of my own blood. She's the one who got me to the hospital," Langston explained.
Now, Jessica works to write grants for Mission Outreach and helps "Wanting, Needing Giving" on the side.
"She's the kind of woman I want to be," Langston said.
Helping children and weeding out those on site who are scammers and really not in need.
"We have a list of questions that we will private message and we will ask them," Fletcher said. "We want to know."
To assure that whatever is given is going to those truly in need.
"Wanting, Needing, Giving" or W-N-G has grown to fill needs in a 70-mile radius of Paragould and Jonesboro—thanks to lifelines of support, even in the middle of the night.
"We get a ding notification," Fletcher said.
And Pat still has plans to grow the organization more.
"We're trying to start a new thing called TNT," Fletcher said. "Teens need things and of course, it's dynamite!"
This to help teenagers who need hygiene products and clothing for school.
And about that prayer for Fletcher's daughter…
"My daughter used to say, 'Mom, I don't know why I'm so sick and why my little girl has to see me this way…until now. This is why I'm sick.'" Fletcher explained.
"A prayer for a child has opened up the door to help so many children," Fletcher said. "I prayed for one and hundreds and hundreds have been helped."