In 2017, approximately 442 people in Cumberland County were identified and met the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development definition of what it means to be homeless. It continues to be difficult for the homeless to find shelter, food, clothing and stability for a variety of reasons, including economic factors, job loss, mental illness, addiction and life’s struggles. Many others in the community are only one paycheck away from poverty. Each year, All About Fitness, Inc. hosts a hygiene drive that takes place January through May. The drive assists individuals in the Fayetteville, Raeford and Spring Lake communities.
“The hygiene drive is one of four drives that we have every year to help out the communities where we have our chapters,” said Dewayne Webb, president of All About Fitness, Inc.
Hygiene items that are needed include toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and soap.
“The reason we do this is because there are a lot of men, women and children who live on the streets and in shelters,” said Webb. “We put these items in bags and take them to shelters that we are partnered with and pass them out to people who live on the streets.”
Webb added that there are a lot of people who go inside local businesses every day after they have slept on the street, under a tree or under a bridge to wash their face and brush their teeth.
Webb’s passion for helping those in need comes from his personal life and the economic struggles his family endured.
“I grew up without a lot of money, and my dad was in the military and people automatically assumed we had a lot of money, but we didn’t,” said Webb. “He was a low rank in the Air Force with five dependents, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom.”
Webb added these conditions forced him to grow up very quickly and take care of his brothers and sisters, which in turn taught him leadership skills and responsibility and laid the foundation for putting others before himself.
His nonprofit All About Fitness, Inc. came about in 2012 by accident. Today, the organization has over 15,000 followers from all of its social media platforms and continues to grow. There are eight satellite locations; the main location is in Fayetteville. There is a free fitness class for men, women and children every day of the week in the spring and summer and Monday through Friday in the fall and winter. Once a month, there are other types of free “fitness” workshops that include legal fitness, financial fitness and mental fitness.
“I truly believe that God has his hand in this because I never expected the impact of All About Fitness to be at the level it is today,” said Webb.
Hygiene items can be dropped off at the three workout locations: College Lakes Recreation Center, Spring Lake Recreation Center and Rockfish Community Center. For more information on how to join All About Fitness, or to make a donation, call 318- 918-8580 or visit www.allaboutfitnessfamily.org.
Photo: Dewayne Webb, president of All About Fitness, Inc. hosts a hygiene drive to benefit the homeless each year