The Onslow County Partnership for Children is branching out to Sneads Ferry, thanks to a local minister and his church.

The Onslow County Partnership for Children is branching out to Sneads Ferry, thanks to a local minister and his church.

A satellite location, located at the North Topsail Shores Baptist Church, will hold a small lending library of supplies like books, toys and games for parents and other child caregivers to check out free of charge. The Sneads Ferry satellite location opened May 21 of this year.

The partnership already has two satellite offices — in Swansboro and in Richlands — and hopes the Sneads Ferry location will make life easier for Onslow County residents living far away from its headquarters in Jacksonville.

“We want people to go there instead of going all the way to Jacksonville,” said Lawanna Wooden, director of the early childhood division with the partnership. “Mom won’t have to fill the car up with gas, put five kids in and take them 45 minutes into town.”

Wooden said the high cost of rent in the seaside town made finding a location a challenge. The need for a satellite location in Sneads Ferry was brought to Steve Allen, pastor of New River Community Church. Allen says there’s a sizeable number of people in Sneads Ferry who are less fortunate and lack the resources and transportation to drive to Jacksonville and use the resources the partnership has there.

“The majority of people here are connected with the commercial fishing industry,” said Allen. “That’s a tough business … lots of folks are trying to find ways to feed their families and themselves.”

New River’s full time daycare, which cares for more than 70 children, didn’t allow for the satellite office there, but one of Allen’s colleagues stepped up and donated space. Dwayne Collins, head of the North Topsail Shores Baptist Church for 25 years, said he knew first-hand how useful the partnership’s resource library is when he and his wife homeschooled their, now-grown, children.

“It was very helpful,” said Collins, who added the satellite location is a way for his church to further reach out to the Sneads Ferry community.

Though the satellite site located in a vacant Sunday school room hasn’t opened yet, word is getting out and people are already using the resource library, Collins said.

“This is very exciting,” said Collins. “They’re happy and we’re happy.”

For more information on the new resource library or the partnership as a whole, contact 910-938-0336 or go online to