Good Works in the Wake of Hurricane Florence

“Bad things do happen in the world, like war, natural disasters, disease. But out of those situations always arise stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” ~ Daryn Kagan

Tragedy and disaster come in many forms, bringing with them unexpected opportunities for ordinary people to step up and do extraordinary things. On the anniversary of 9/11, one of our nation’s greatest tragedies, I reflected on those who carve good works from tragic events. Today, I want to reflect on those who are helping us recover and rebuild in the wake of one of the Carolina coast’s greatest natural disasters yet, Hurricane Florence.

As you all are aware, Hurricane Florence pounded the Carolinas with record-breaking rains and flooding. Thankfully, our staff members evacuated to safer ground and were able to continue operations remotely. We are fortunate. As of this week, Matchmaker Logistics resumed normal operations, with everyone back in their respective offices.

I couldn’t have been more proud of the way my team worked together to keep operations going during the storm. And I’m even more touched by the ways in which they are showing their kindness and generosity to each other and our community in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

florence recovery

Carrier Sales Rep, Kendra, shared the devastating news that her aunt and uncle, retired seniors, lost their entire home; she is working to find resources to help them. This weekend, Carrier Sales Rep, Cody, has volunteered to help his fellow Carrier Sales Rep, Reid, rip out walls and carpets, tear out sheetrock, and begin rebuilding his basement which flooded.

Our very own Mary Nicholas stepped up to help an entire community. She rallied with her friends back in Birmingham, Alabama to raise hundreds of dollars for hurricane relief in just a handful of days. Then, she braved a grueling 10-hour drive to deliver a U-Haul filled to the roof with cleaning supplies, food, clothes, and more to Riley’s Creek Baptist Church in Rocky Point, North Carolina, a nearby area that was hit especially hard by the storm.

Here in Wilmington, countless community organizations have come together to help their neighbors. Good Works, a local non-profit, provided food, supplies, and cleanup aid working out of a downtown restaurant-turned-relief center.

Ray Baca, a wedding photographer by day, transformed his event venue into a warehouse full of relief supplies. His organization, the Port City Volunteer & Disaster Relief, worked with the United Cajun Navy to distribute supplies to those unreachable by land.

Every day, World Central Kitchen provided thousands of meals to relief workers and anyone else in need of a hot meal. Throughout the Carolinas, volunteers worked day and night to provide shelter, supplies, and help to those still struggling to recover. While many trees still block the sidewalks and debris continues to pile up on roadsides, everywhere you look, people are helping people.

By their very nature, disasters are unavoidable, unpredictable, and devastating. In a moment, thousands can lose so much, even everything. Yet, time and again, we see people come together in extraordinary ways, helping each other pick up the pieces and rebuild in the wake of tragedy and trauma. Our community will struggle for months to rebuild and recover. But together, with neighbor reaching out to neighbor, I know we can do it.

Fuel for Thought,