WRH Distribution Center
Hurricane Florence Distribution Center at WRH
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, a distribution center was set up at Wallace-Rose Hill High School to help provide flood victims with clothing and other supplies. Since its inception, student volunteers took ownership and were running the center. Many of the student volunteers were there every day and late into the night helping, even though some of them had also lost everything in the flood. The distribution center started when Jodie Moore put a request on Facebook asking for clothes and other supplies. Many of those in the shelter had to leave their homes abruptly with only the clothes on their back. The community and the students responded immediately. When asked how the students knew about the need, WRH senior Logan Jones stated, “They found out through social media posts I made on Snapchat and Facebook. Students started showing up on the 17th and the number grew each day.” As supplies came in, the students converted classrooms into supply centers, and each room held a different type of supply. For example, Ms. Powell’s biology classroom was transformed into a room full of baby supplies. One of those helped following the storm was a three-day old baby in need of formula. Other classrooms held cleaning supplies, medical supplies, toys and games, adult clothes, and more. Anyone who needed necessities were greeted by students and given a form to fill out what they needed. Students then gathered the supplies needed, helped people to find clothes, and helped them load their cars. When asked what working at the distribution center meant to him, WRH senior Gerson Sosa stated, “I just like helping people. It’s a good feeling. It’s my last year and I’m doing something that helps.”
Provisions were brought in by Performance Ford in Clinton, Rodriguez Produce, Food Lion, Godwins IGA, Shawn’s Restaurant, Billy’s Pork and Beef, and more. In addition, Mr. Tony Cavanaugh cooked 10 hogs at the school to feed victims of the flooding. The community was also fed by Mi Lupita and others. Volunteers stated that anytime they needed something and put a request on Facebook, those needs were met. Logan Jones worked with a volunteer and got supplies delivered to the center by plane through Operation Airdrop. Students who worked at the distribution center were from Wallace-Rose Hill High School, Pender Early College, Duplin Early College, Laney High School, and others. Among other volunteers were Spirit of Life in Clinton, Mt. Carmel Church, and the NC Poultry Jubilee Queens.
In addition to the distribution center, funds were raised through a PayPal account to help shelter victims. Enough money was raised to give one family a month’s rent for shelter, to pay for flooded victims to have a week at Liberty Inn, and $20 in gas money was given to all shelter members to help them get to work on Monday following the storm. FEMA was set up at the school to help residents and the American Red Cross also helped shelter victims. The distribution center was closed on Wednesday, September 26, to allow the school to be prepared for returning students. Remaining supplies were distributed to Kingdom Builders, Cross Creek Community of Hampstead, United Methodist of Wallace, Corinth Church and numerous other places to continue to aid flood victims. On the behavior of the student volunteers, Ms. Kim Jones declared, “If this is our future, we are in good hands.” These students are #DuplinStrong.