SERVICE IN MEMORY: Arone Washington Foundation brings Christmas gifts to foster children

Published 4:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2022

Candace Washington’s husband was a loving man. He cared about those in his community, especially the children.

And for those who struggled, he liked to help — so much so that for more than five years, he held a toy drive, his wife Candace Washington said.

Arone died on Nov. 1, 2021, and literally days afterward on Nov. 18, Candace established the Arone Washington Foundation, which aids foster children in the community.

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“Arone was all about his community and giving back, and every year he would do a toy drive at Rodney’s Store on South Street,” she said.

“He would give out toys there,” Washington said, but after he died, she wanted to do a little something different.

Therefore, with the aid of Ruby Green, and the United Way of West Central Mississippi acting as the liaison, gifts were purchased for more than 40 foster children in the community.

“This was our biggest project we did last year. We bought everything that was on the lists for 49 kids. This year, we had 70 kids. We didn’t get everything covered (on the lists) this year, but we did get a lot of stuff,” she said.

Donations come in from family and friends of Washington’s and she said she posted information about donating on Facebook.

“Typically, people will adopt one child, some will get two and they just buy whatever they can afford that is on the (child’s) list,” Washington said.

Holding a toy drive at Christmastime was not the only thing Arone did, his friend and business partner Gene Logan said.

“He would always help with the book bag drives on South Street,” Logan said.

And it wasn’t always just about children. Logan said he would also help with the elderly.

“It was just really about humanity. He was just a good genuine guy,” he said. “If there was a problem, he would try to lend his hand to help.”

Logan described Arone as a “standup guy.”

“He was very genuine. If he gave you his word, he kept it. And he was very passionate about kids and the youth,” Logan said. “I witnessed at least 10 or 15 times where we may have been in the (Rodney’s) store talking to a young teenager or a child about doing the right thing in life. There was one instance where a young man walked up to him (Arone) and gave him a hug because (Arone) had helped turn his life around.

“Arone was a real inspiration to the troubled youth in Vicksburg,” Logan added.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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