Relief Efforts Should Never Stop

By: Megan King

Recently, a Category 4 hurricane named Florence threatened the North Carolina coast. Over the week leading up to the storm, citizens scrambled to purchase water, bread, flashlights, batteries, and even power generators. The anticipated damage was scaring us all and as Florence got closer reality set in for a lot of us. People were asked to evacuate their homes. Businesses were closing early, classes were called off in advance, and some universities even evacuated students. While this was happening, A Place at the Table was prepping, as well. We were preparing for more than just damage inflicted on our space, but more so preparing for those in our area who are unable to afford to evacuate or get supplies.

It is not always my first thought, while it should be, to think of someone other than myself especially when there is any form of a crisis approaching. I have been blessed with a family who is financially able to stock up on water and non-perishable food and other necessary supplies in the event of a natural disaster. My family also can evacuate should we need to. It was only moments after being calmed down by my mother that I realized how blessed I am, and how selfish I was thinking. Once I fixed my mindset I was flooded with emotions that I had little to no idea what to do with. I was sad for those who were suffering even before Florence reared its destructive head. I was scared for those who do not have a safe place to stay or who had to leave their homes with no idea what they would come home to I wanted to donate all the food I had and give the clothes off my back and give any kind of financial support I could. I wanted to DO SOMETHING.

When finally the storm hit and fear for myself had completely left my mind, I focused on praying for anyone and everyone I could think of. Once it was clear that the damage on the Raleigh area was minimal but damage to Eastern North Carolina was substantial I was able to decide a plan of action. I researched where we could donate our extra supplies and what those affected needed. Two weeks later and it almost feels like much of North Carolina has forgotten about the hurricane. The sun is out, and power is mostly restored, life keeps moving on. However, this is not the case for Eastern North Carolina and Northern South Carolina. Our beaches have suffered and so have the natives there. Some lost everything and are picking up the pieces. Some are still not allowed to go home. Some are still without power or are experiencing flooding. A Place at the Table is a donation site for supplies to continue to alleviate the damage done form Florence, because we are not fully out of the storm. It may have stopped raining, but there is working to be done, there is help to be given. This is the reality for Raleigh without the event of a natural disaster. There is still relief to be done all over, needs to be met, meals to be served.

It is our mission to serve and care for all of those in our community, no matter the circumstance. Continue to fuel and live out this mission by donating whatever you can because we are still taking donations to help those in need. Natural disasters have nothing on community.

Maggie Kane