Humanitarian response team heads to eastern N.C.

Humanitarian response team heads to eastern N.C.
October 25
05:00 2018

The coalition of volunteers, comprised from several organizations from around the city, departed from the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, Oct. 21.  The group will provide relief for Hurricane Florence victims.

Rev. Dr. Lamonte Williams, president of the Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV) and event coordinator, laid out the agenda of the various cities that the coalition intends to visit and provide humanitarian relief.

“Local pastors and Ministerial Alliances on the ground in Craven, Onslow, Jones and New Hanover counties have called and it’s our duty to answer, to rebuild, clean up and assist our fellow Americans in regaining a sense of normalcy,” he said.

The coalition was initially looking for 100 volunteers to join the effort.  According to Williams, about 40 individuals from the area took the trip and an additional 25 will meet the group there this weekend because of work obligations.

The group will work from Oct. 21 through Oct. 27 to assist with recovery efforts suffered during Hurricane Florence.  Williams says the plan is to survey the area first to try and get an idea of the most needy areas.

“The first thing we will do is take a tour so that the volunteers can get an idea of the devastation,” said Williams.  “We will then prepare to go out to the various sights and hit the ground running.”

Each day, the plan is to split the group up so they can cover a larger area.  Williams stated that there were a large number of calls received into the helpline, so they will try to assist as many people as possible.

Williams says the first priority are the churches.  He feels if they can get the local church up and running, then it will positively impact the community.  He says their effort has three main components: provide some level of disaster relief, give the victims some hope, and to bond together.

Last year, Williams led a volunteer trip to Houston to assist with victims of Hurricane Harvey.  He says he is curious to see if the devastation is similar to what he witnessed in Houston.

“It will be interesting to see how it compares to Houston, for example,” he said.  “It seems as though there were more churches affected here than there were in Houston.  Several pastors have said they have not been able to get back into their churches yet, so it is a pretty serious situation.”

Upon arrival, there will be a reception with local Mayor Sammy Phillips, city officials and faith leaders, including Preston Harris, Moderator of the Trent River Oakey Grove Association.  Bishop A.G. Mullins and the Abundant Life International Baptist Cathedral and community organizers at the lodging site of New River Baptist Association, will also be in attendance.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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