Besides Fayetteville and New Bern, the town of Wilmington in North Carolina was also severely impacted by the flooding. The community was benefited from the 500 ACS flood buckets and other needed items that were distributed by our volunteers. The South Atlantic’s Ephesus SDA Church in Wilmington opened up their parking lot to set up a Distribution Center over the weekend. One of our ACS DR teams from the Greater New York Conference (GNYC) lent their support to the community. The ACS shower trailer from Michigan Conference also arrived, so that our workers could clean themselves after each day of work.
While Ephesus provided housing, the Carolina Conference’s Wilmington SDA Church coordinated the feeding for the arriving Team from GNYC. Wilmington had prepared breakfast for our GNYC Team who was scheduled to arrive early morning. However, due to detours along the way, they had informed the church that they would be arriving about an hour and a half later. Upon hearing this, Pr. George Wennerberg and his church members took the breakfast to Ephesus to begin serving the community. The GNYC Team finally arrived with 16 people and two vehicles. After having breakfast, they met with Derrick Lea and the leader of the Distribution Site, Cheryl Sparks. They reviewed the assessments that had been conducted over the previous two days, and outlined those homes that needed cleaning. By noon, our Team members had arrived at the homes where residents met them as if they were family.
Another service we will be offering to the community is Walmart gift cards. Rather than handing out money during events such as these, a process must be created that ensures everyone is treated in an equitable manner. Since resources are limited, we must be able to prove there is a system in place that guarantees fairness in distribution. The criteria for the gift cards would be based on the degree of damage done to a person’s home. ‘Damage Assessment’, one of the courses given by Derrick Lea, teaches students how to categorize homes that have been damaged by weather events and creates levels of damage to a structure. This class was conducted with both South Atlantic and Carolina conference team members in attendance. They’re all certified now and have begun assessing homes. This enables us to designate help based on the level of damage to a person’s home.