Mountain Girl Speaks at Apex Lions Club

We had an amazing speaker this evening! Darlena Moore (aka “Mountain Girl”) shared her own personal story and how that has become a 501c3 non-profit organization to provide scholarships for foster students.

Darlena was born in the mountains of North Carolina. Her family was poor but happy. Her mother was a single mother of 5 children. One day when Darlena returned home she was told that her mother was sick and had been taken to the hospital. It turns out she had late-stage leukemia and she died 2 months later. The courts separated the children and sent them in various directions.

Fortunately, Darlena ultimately ended up in the very loving foster home of Dick and Mary Gilbert. The Gilberts cared for and nurtured Darlena and taught her some wonderful life lessons. They even saved the social security checks from her family and put that money towards a college fund for her.

After graduating college Darlena felt a strong desire to continue the legacy and help other foster children as well. She told us that the best healing comes from finding out what caused you pain and then helping others get through similar struggles.

So she started making granola and selling it to her friends to raise money for scholarships and began the Gilbert Scholarship non-profit program. While that was successful, it was also difficult to manage. So she changed her strategy to be more effective at getting the word out about the scholarship program. She now shares her story with anyone who will listen and takes donations to fund the scholarships. To date she has given 25 scholarships for more than $35,000!

Our club decided to help by making a donation on the spot from our 50-50 collected during the meeting. If you would like to learn more or make a donation, please go to