A Pitt County man says he is very glad to be on solid ground after spending more than 33 hours on a 30-feet high scissor lift in front of the Boys and Girls Club to collect blankets and turkeys for the needy.
Austin Pendergraft went up on the lift about noon Thursday and said he would come down when he collected 300 turkeys and 300 blankets. Just before 9:30 p.m. Friday with 307 turkeys and 302 blankets collected, Pendergraft came down from the scissor lift.
Pendergraft spoke to WITN just after getting back on the ground and told us he is weak and so he is going to get checked out by a doctor, but says "Operation High Hopes" was worth every minute to help people who need those blankets and turkeys. He says he is overwhelmed by the kindness of people in Pitt County and is grateful to everyone who donated.
He says he plans to do more collections and events to help the community in the future.
A Pitt County man is 30 feet above Fire Tower Road in Greenville trying to help those in need.
Austin Pendergraft of Winterville climbed out on scissor lift Thursday in front of the Boys and Girls Club. He was hoisted in the air, where he will be spending time, waiting to hear his donation goal has been met.
Pendergraft is asking the community to donate 300 turkeys and 300 blankets to be distributed to families who need them in Pitt County. The reason for the scissor lift? Pendergraft says it's just crazy enough to grab you're attention.
As of 4:40 p.m. Friday, he needs blankets and 98 turkeys donated before he can come down.
"I want us to think about every Thanksgiving or Christmas we sit around the table with our friends and family and a hot meal, and there are tons of people [who] do not have that opportunity, do not have that privilege," Pendergraft said.
He said he was prepared to stay up there for as long as 72 hours but said he would be grateful to go home to his wife and children before then.
A local Chick-fil-A restaurant is providing Pendergraft with hot soup and a coupon for a sandwich for those who come out with a donation.
God's Love Ministries will distribute the blankets and turkeys to families in Pitt County.