White Oak church,community reachout to family


WHITE OAK — As a family in White Oak mourns the loss of their 4-year-old son, one church has come forward to try to assist the family in their time of loss.

A Go Fund Me page was created to help raise the money necessary to bury Donicio Noe Mendez, who drowned in White Lake on Monday, June 15, while playing in the water near Camp Clearwater at White Lake.

“It was something we just wanted to do to reach out to the family,” said Sue Tatum, a member of the White Oak Family Worship Center.

Tatum said that while the expenses for the burial and headstone have been covered, the family still has other needs.

“Right now, I think we have the expenses (for burial) covered,” said Tatum.

As of Friday, the Go Fund Me page showed $2,094 had been raised and the goal is to raise $5,000.

To donate, go to http://www.gofundme.com/x539hg8.

Tatum, who set up the Go Fund Me page, said the response had been tremendous.

“We saw a need and the Lord just put it in our spirit to do it,” said Tatum.

Bladen-Gaskins Funeral Home in Elizabethtown also had a burial fund set up to receive donations.

Tatum did say the family still has other needs. If you would like to help the family, you can contact the White Oak Family Worship Center at 910-866-5343 for more details.

According to White Lake Police Department Sgt. Mike Salmon, the child was swimming with his two older brothers near Camp Clearwater when a good samaritan saw the child face down in the water. Salmon said the individual brought the child to a nearby pier and started CPR.

The child was transported to Bladen County Hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 2:30 p.m.

Erin Smith can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

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