Still plenty of ways to help hurricane flooding victims

September 28, 2018

There are still plenty of ways to assist Hurricane Florence victims dealing with the effects of flooding that followed the storm that made landfall exactly two weeks ago.

Residents of Rome and Floyd County have been very generous already towards Florence relief efforts, Larry Brooks, American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia executive director, said, although needs still exist and several local organizations are focusing their energy on helping out.

“We have distributed over 100,000 relief items to folks in North Carolina,” Brooks said.

The Red Cross has handed out over 750,000 meals and snacks to victims as well.

“We’ve actually had folks sending checks and cash donations,” he added, saying they can be earmarked specifically for Florence relief. “It’s been wonderful to see the generosity of people.”

One need that gets forgotten following a disaster — even if not needed directly — is blood.

“When you have areas that are impacted, scheduled blood drives there aren’t occurring,” Brooks said. “We’re always in need of blood during the summer months and disasters cause shortages of regular supplies at hospitals, etc.”

Anyone wishing to donate blood, money or time for Red Cross relief efforts can visit www.redcross.org or call 1-844-536-6226.

RomeGaCares has also been collecting cash and items to make disaster relief kits for Florence victims over the last week or so.

“We have raised almost $12,000 and will be utilizing that money to purchase things we did not receive from donations,” said Sgt. Carrie Edge of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office. “We have two tractor-trailer loads of disaster relief kits, fans, shovels, water, hygiene kits, diapers and dog food.”

Those items will be leaving for Columbus County, North Carolina, on Monday.

“We hope to be able to help those at the greatest disadvantage like elderly, homebound and impoverished with clean up and home repairs as well,” Edge said. RomeGaCares is still taking donations through today. “Our greatest need is disaster kit items. We still have approximately 500 kits to fill.”

Local schools including Floyd County Schools, Darlington School, St. Mary’s, Unity Christian and Rome City Schools, have pitched in. Students loaded personalized clean-up buckets Thursday with inspirational and personal messages to those who’ve been affected by flooding.

Kits can be donated for RomeGaCares efforts by visiting www.floydsheriff.com/romegacares.

Other groups with local connections like the United Methodist Committee on Relief are also actively helping Florence victims in both North and South Carolina.

UMCOR asks that those interested in helping pray for victims, first and foremost, but also offer opportunities to donate money, volunteer for long-term recovery teams, and build their own relief kits. Instructions on how to build those kits are provided.

More information on how to help through the UCMCOR can be found at www.umcor.org or by calling 888-440-9176.

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