Nonprofit organizations, local companies and individuals were helping with relief efforts in the Cape Fear region Thursday to distribute food, water and services throughout the Wilmington area, with a major operation set up at the 32-acre Wilmington campus of a local church.
Convoy of Hope, a Springfield, Missouri-based international humanitarian-relief organization, has been in Wilmington since Sept. 15, the night after Hurricane Florence made landfall.
Among their contributions, the faith-based group has been helping to coordinate volunteers and supply distribution efforts at Port City Community Church, said Mike Ashcraft, the church's senior pastor.
“They've already put a million pounds of food in our state since the hurricane,” Ashcraft said Thursday morning. “It's absolutely unbelievable."
Crews were working Thursday to set up a warehouse in the Brunswick County city of Southport, among a multitude of other tasks they were undertaking to provide help in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization headed by Franklin Graham and based in Boone, is also stationed at the Wilmington campus of Port City Community Church, 250 Vision Drive.
"Donations from the community are being accepted at several locations around New Hanover County. In addition, residents can come to these locations for supplies and food. A list of locations and accepted donations is available at EmergencyNHC.com," the release stated.
The release also said that the county is also partnering with National Voluntary Organizations in Disasters, and interested donors and volunteers can learn more about relief efforts at NVOAD.org.
“We are grateful to our community members, and others outside of New Hanover County, who are rising up in this time of need to bring resources and comfort to each other,” said New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet in the release. “In fact, the outpouring from our residents has been so great that part of our relief response now includes this coordination team. They will be our liaison to community groups, the faith community, and individuals who are courageously stepping up in this time of need.”
There were numerous examples of groups, companies and individuals that were taking action, and in many cases had already taken action, for the Wilmington area as a result of the storm.
The firm donated $1,000 in matching funds to Pender County Humane Society and has committed an additional $1,500 donation for supplies for the sanctuary (a volunteer with a sanctuary puppy is pictured above).
Wade and Ashley Wilson, also agents with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, donated the use of a family-owned, 33,000-square-foot warehouse building in Castle Hayne that is expected to be used for horse rescue by a FEMA-approved group, Davis said.
In another example of relief efforts, an announcement from real estate firm Keller Williams stated that four Keller Williams Realty Cares tractor-trailer trucks were expected to arrive Thursday and a disaster relief team was set to stay in Wilmington as long as required.
"Crews will be assisting Keller Williams agents and their immediate families with post-storm clean-up, supplies, generators, fuel, temporary lodging, and emergency stipends to cover meals and daily cost of living during storm recovery," a news release stated.
In the 48 hours before Hurricane Florence made landfall Sept. 14, more than $70,000 had been advanced to local Keller Williams agents to offset the cost of evacuation: money to cover food, lodging and travel "to keep people out of harm’s way," the release said.
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