The Statesville Woman’s Club helped assemble Bella Backpacks in October. Pictured (from left) are Megan Miller; Valerie Oliphant; Dana White, Statesville Woman’s Club President; Laurie Latragna; Barb Thorson and Bella’s grandmother, Deena Chambers; Tanisha Schoolfield; Isabella DiFiore, founder of Bella’s Backpacks; and Kim Turner.

Special to Iredell Free News

The Statesville Woman’s Club filled backpacks for Bella’s Backpacks for its October service project. The backpacks include comfort items for children served by the Dove House Children’s Advocacy House.

Club members, guests and individuals from the community donated such items as small blankets, journals, coloring books, colored pencils, individual tissue pickets and hair brushes. Then club members, potential members and guests gathered at the clubhouse to help assemble the backpacks.

Bella’s Backpacks was started by 13-year-old Isabella DiFiore, the daughter of Steve and Jennifer DiFiore of Statesville and the reigning Carolina Dogwood Teen Princess 2022. She started making the backpacks in January 2022 because she wanted to do something to make the children that come to the Dove House feel special, feel like someone cares, and know that there is hope in their worst moments. The backpacks contain a blanket, hygiene items, journal, coloring book, pencils, a pen, crayons, markers, stress ball, hand sanitizer, reusable water bottle, tissues, a snack, a small stuffed animal or toy and a message of hope from Isabella. The message reads “I have overcome some of the most difficult situations and come out Stronger” and also includes her favorite scripture: “I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens Me” (Philippians 4:13).

To date, with the help of donors, Isabella has filled over 140 backpacks. In addition to the Statesville Woman’s Club, others who have donated to Isabella’s community service project are Kintegra Health Statesville, Mitchell Community College, Gamma Alpha Chapter of ADK (Alpha Delta Kappa), Fidelis Tau Chapter of ADK, Phi Chapter of ADK in Winston Salem, Retired Iredell-Statesville Schools Personnel group, Levine Cancer Institute Nurse Navigators, employees of NGK Ceramics in Mooresville, Janice Tutt, and many friends, family, and community members.


For club information or about renting the GFWC of NC Statesville Woman’s Clubhouse for your meeting or event, inquiries may be emailed to the club at or by calling 704-761-8208. For details on joining the GFWC of NC Statesville Woman’s Club, please contact Membership Chair Stephanie Gill at 704-657-5008. The club has also updated its website at

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