Genesis of the Center

The George Henry White Memorial Health and Education Center began with the donation of an aging farmhouse and one-acre parcel of land in Clarkton, NC in the Bladen/Columbus County area that was the former home of Mattie Campbell and family. Donated in 2014 by Dr. Milton Campbell and Wanda Campbell to the BESDF for this purpose, the 120-year-old house had been vacant for years. Since 2015, the aging structure has been revamped, including repairing the roof, exterior, windows, and adding security bars. New plumbing and a new kitchen and bathrooms were installed (including one with handicap access.) A central wall was removed and floor joists strengthened to create a large meeting room from two other rooms. A well was dug and pump installed. Flooring, wall repair and painting was completed inside. Outside, the deteriorated back porch was removed and replaced with a sturdy deck. A handicap access ramp was built to that deck. The sagging front porch was then replaced with a strong new foundation and deck, and built-in seating. New handrails were installed for the brick steps. A new electrical system has been installed up to modern building codes.  A state of the art security system with remote monitor access ensures 24-hour protection. With the installation of powerful HVAC and insulation, the physical structure will be sound and accessible to all populations.  Furnishings and electronic equipment will support presentations, exhibits, community services and meetings.

The estimated cost to fully renovate the house,  and to incorporate modern technology to fulfill health and education programs, has been approximately $151,854.   Since the project was introduced in July, 2014 and work started during CY 2015, the following work has been accomplished and was donated by individuals, families, businesses, and organizations totaling more than $132,882:

Completed renovations:​

  • The metal roof has been repaired and a major section replaced.

  • The exterior siding has been repaired, primed, and painted with a high-quality paint.

  • The exterior windows have been repaired and secured with security bars.

  • The four exterior doors have been secured with high-security storm doors and master-keyed.

  • The building interior has had wood framing, plumbing and finish work done for installation of two bathrooms with one equipped for handicap persons.

  • The interior of the building has had structural deficiencies repaired.

  • The interior floors and walls that don’t need additional work have been refinished and painted.

  • The building has permanent electrical service installed with an electric meter and approval by building inspector.

  • Wall and Base kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances installed and functional.

  • Installed deep well water pump and constructed masonry block pumphouse.

  • Local community leadership implemented comprehensive landscaping that includes memorial trees, a rose garden bed, lawn maintenance and flagpole (American and North Carolina flags).  

  • Installed plumbing to support the kitchen, two toilets and outside irrigation system

  • Removed wall between two rooms and supported flooring to create large assembly room.

  • Rebuilt and restored the front porch with benches for seating, and safety rails flanking the steps

  • Installed handicap ramp to rear deck for full accessibility.

  • Rebuilt rear deck with built-in seating

  • Placed signs on the property to let the public know that the GHW Center is established and operating.

  • The local community watch organization is providing security watch services

  • State-of-the-art security system with 24-hour camera surveillance and on-site monitor and remote monitoring

  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System (2 zones, with 3 propane tanks installed)

  • New furnishings: Podium, tables, chairs

  • Pantry renovation and shelves installed in all closets

  • Installed electronics for presentations

  • Media outreach 

  • Basic level satellite internet installed

  • Donated laptop computers, printers, and TVs installed 

Work Remaining and Costs to facilitate full-service operations:

  1. Insulate crawl space and attic to save energy costs: $2,200

  2. Expand Internet connectivity and WiFi system: $1,800

  3. Need projector and drop down screen: $2,800

  4. Need updated technology for computer and communications training : $12,172

  Total Cost: $18,972

 Additions and upgrades to facilitate enhanced operations:

  1. Interior Doors: Purchase and install new doors as needed for the GHW Center: $2,800

  2. Windows: Install new windows for the GHW Center as needed: $7,500

  3. Second Floor: Clean out second floor and install storage and display equipment for community archives and exhibits: $6,500

  4. Furniture and Equipment: Purchase various furniture and equipment to bring the GHW Center into full service for the community: $2,500

  5. Replace building metal roof: $12,000

  6. Paint exterior of building: $4,500

  Total Cost: $31,300

How you can help:


Raising funds to complete the project and support operations is ongoing.  In addition to private individuals, organizations and businesses are invited to contribute materials, goods or services as "in-kind" donations and for assistance in facilitating the center's health and education programs


BESDF, Inc., (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group established for educational, literary, and charitable purposes, among other functions), is leading the project.  The tax ID number is 56-2068902. Tax-deductible contributions to bring the project to fruition are welcome and should be provided to BESDF, Inc. as follows:



Attn: GHW Center

5607 Catskill Court, Durham, NC 27713

For questions on the project: Contact Vincent M. Spaulding, R.A. at 202-441-3589 or via email at