Barnes: Local woman answers call to help community

Diandra Prioleau visits with participants of the Dec. 22 breakfast at Day Dawn Baptist Church in Pineville.

A program was unveiled on Dec. 22 at the Day Dawn Baptist Church Hall, Pineville, to aid individuals facing financial hardship, or those dealing with homelessness, mental illness, bereavement, loneliness or those just wanting to enjoy the company of others.

Participants enjoyed a full hot breakfast of eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, baked chicken, croissants, pastries, juice, tea, coffee and water, with various condiments to enhance the tasty grits. Family games were played with winners receiving gifts, among which were money gift cards. Door prizes were also given to fortunate winners. Recorded music was played to keep the setting holiday ready and enjoyable for attendees.

The event was the brainchild of a young lady who grew up in the Pineville/St. Stephen communities, and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida, where she is a graduate student at the University of Florida. The entire event was awe inspiring, and the fact that it came from someone so young, further enhanced its impact on those being served. I wanted to know from this young lady her inspiration for making the event a reality. Her response struck a cord in me and I felt it worthy of sharing with our readers.

Diandra Prioleau is continuing her higher education endeavors as a doctoral student at the University of Florida, but the distance did not deter her from addressing a calling she received from God to provide support to those in need in her home community during the holiday season.

She said she had observed the plight of the homeless and mentally ill in her travels and when the calling was placed on her heart, she just had to make it happen. And make it happen, Diandra did. She started planning in October, reaching out to area churches and businesses to serve as sponsors. Notices were sent to media outlets and Diandra was interviewed on a local radio station to get the word out.

She was determined to answer the call, and on Dec. 22, with the assistance of family, friends, and other volunteers, the task was graciously and successfully accomplished. It was also noted that this young lady was not looking for recognition or other accolades for what was to be accomplished, as it took a great deal of time and effort to have her share with me the impetus for the event.

Her one and only objective, was to answer the call placed on her heart. I’m grateful she was willing to share her story with me. Too often we hear about or read of the negative things being carried out by our youth. This sharing is about a young lady who is focused on bringing good things to fruition.

Diandra is a daughter of Ralph and Almena Prioleau Sr. of St. Stephen and a granddaughter of Sadie Gadsden of Pineville.

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Sincere expressions of sympathy are sent to the families of the late Craig Owens and the late Nathan Addison of St. Stephen.

Send items of interest to Yvonne Barnes, 1459 Colon Maham Dr., Pineville, SC 29468 or send email to