Updates: Hurricane Florence Recovery

March 4, 2019–This week, Operation USA is excited to deliver a $75,000 grant to Disability Rights North Carolina in support of ongoing Hurricane Florence recovery programs. This grant will help fund new program staff (an attorney and an advocate) who will work to improve systemic and individual outcomes for people with disabilities, and to help them recover from the disaster.

 
DRNC is the only organization exclusively dedicated to addressing the legal needs of North Carolinians with disabilities, and is uniquely positioned to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities in the disaster planning and recovery processes. The damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 had already reduced the supply of affordable housing in the region served by DRNC. That housing was not replaced, and Hurricane Florence made a difficult situation much worse. People with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by the lack of housing, and focused advocacy is urgently needed for people with disabilities to recover and return safely to their communities. As DRNC has identified several areas where immediate action on behalf of the hardest-hit community members is necessary, these funds provided by OpUSA–thanks to the generosity of our partners and donors–will ensure that DRNC does not miss opportunities to advance the interests and legal rights of people with disabilities as North Carolina seeks to rebuild and recover. It will also provide DRNC the opportunity to demonstrate positive outcomes from this body of work.

 

 

February 28, 2019–This week, Operation USA delivered three additional grants to partners aiding Hurricane Florence recovery.

 

As NourishNC (NNC)–to which we previously delivered a grant in November 2018–continues to combat the effects of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, we are so pleased to have provided an additional grant for $10,000 to support the purchase and distribution of nonperishable food, fresh fruits, and vegetables to feed vulnerable students/children.

 

Communities in Schools of Robeson County provides the link between educators and the community, which means teachers are free to teach, and students (particularly those who are in danger of dropping out) can focus on learning, progress in school, graduate, and be prepared for enrollment, employment or enlistment. We are so pleased to have provided a $10,000 grant this week to support the purchase and distribution of food backpacks, school supplies, and gift cards to assist students in need. As CIS works to empower students to stay in school and achieve in life, this grant will help them achieve their mission and meet increased needs in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

 

Connections of Cumberland County (CCC) is a growing nonprofit that assists homeless single women, single mothers and children with overcoming barriers that have led to chronic instability and homelessness. The organizations Day Resource Center (DRC) offers one-stop access to comprehensive case management and supportive services. As the DRC has faced increased needs and new cases in the months since Hurricane Florence, we are so proud to have provided a $10,000 grant to help fund program staff and client support programs, including client financial assistance.

 

 

November 28, 2018–This month, thanks again to the generosity of corporate partners, Operation USA delivered three grants to community-based partners in North Carolina to bolster Hurricane Florence Recovery efforts.

 

For more than 35 years, the Good Shepherd Center has served the greater Wilmington area with food/nutrition and homeless services for vulnerable children, families, veterans and seniors. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the center has seen an increase in demand for shelter and other resources, and has worked to provide additional services for those who are most in need. OpUSA is so pleased to have delivered a grant for $76,356 to the Good Shepherd Center this month to support ongoing relief and recovery efforts. These funds will enable the center to increase dorm and sleeping spaces in order to shelter additional people, and will help provide rental assistance to re-house at least 100 individuals, including families.

 

NourishNC (NNC) is a nonprofit whose mission is to provide healthy food to hungry children, empowering them to succeed in the classroom and in their community. The organization’s goal is to enhance children’s health and well-being by preventing the devastating consequences of child hunger and food insecurity. NNC supported community members in need both before and after Hurricane Florence hit in September with emergency food supply backpacks and boxes. This month, OpUSA is so pleased to have delivered a $10,000 grant in support of these efforts. These funds will enable NNC to provide thousands of additional meals–including nonperishable supplies and fresh produce–to children and families who are vulnerable during the storm’s aftermath.

 

The mission of Communities In Schools of Cape Fear is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Each year, CIS empowers more than 1,000 students to stay in school and on the path to graduation. In the wake of Hurricane Florence–facing increased needs and many additional homeless students/families–CIS worked diligently to expand vital programs already in place: providing basic needs such as hygiene kits and cleaning supplies, preparing and delivering hot meals to residents in the city’s housing projects, working with students already engaged with CIS programs to determine their families’ needs, helping to locate affordable housing and linking families with resources to cover deposits and rent, checking into the shelter and help case-manage families there, and running a full-day hurricane relief camp for children so parents could go back to work knowing their kids were safe and engaged. OpUSA is so pleased to have been able to provide a $25,00 grant this month to support their meaningful efforts in response to the hurricane.

 

Thank you to all those who made these grants possible! Support ongoing efforts at give.opusa.org.

 

 

October 28, 2018–This month, thanks to the generosity of corporate partners, Operation USA delivered two grants to community-based organizations in North and South Carolina in support of Hurricane Florence Recovery.

 

In South Carolina, we delivered a $25,000 grant to the Harvest Hope Food Bank to bolster nutritional stability in the wake of Florence. These funds support ongoing relief efforts–HHFB is already packing 1,000+ packages per day and has delivered more than $1M in aid since Florence hit–and will allow HHFB to provide food to hurricane survivors in eight counties, improve nutrition for individuals living in a “food desert” caused by disaster conditions, and increase the stability of local feeding organizations (e.g. food pantries and soup kitchens) made vulnerable by the storm.

 
In North Carolina, we delivered an $80,000 grant to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to support the purchase of a new refrigerated truck, allowing the organization to expand its services to residents made increasingly vulnerable by Florence. FBCENC provides nutritious meals to an estimated 600,000 people and last year delivered 58 million meals across 19,000 square miles of large, rural counties. In areas which were already vulnerable before the storm, Florence’s winds, rain and flooding caused catastrophic damage. This new truck–capable of transporting 30,000 lbs of food and supplies per load–will help FBCENC do more direct distributions to more families as recovery continues.

 

 

September 27, 2018–This week, longtime corporate partner Honeywell committed to supporting OpUSA’s relief and recovery efforts with a donation of in-kind materials including tens of thousands of safety gloves, safety goggles, masks and filters and safety boots. These items–already warehoused in North and South Carolina–will be distributed to partners on the ground in impacted communities, and will aid in cleanup and mold remediation efforts in the wake of record flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. We are so grateful for the opportunity to distribute these items where they are needed most. Thank you to Honeywell for its generous donation. For more information on corporate partnerships and in-kind donations to aid in relief and recovery efforts, contact rwalden@opusa.org.

 

 

September 13, 2018–As Hurricane Florence–now downgraded to a Category 2 storm–bears down on the Carolinas, communities in its path have begun to experience the storm’s effects with winds upward of 75 mph and heavy rain. Florence is expected to move onshore late tonight into early tomorrow as a Category 2 or 3 storm, and will stall over the states for several days, dumping record rains and bringing a storm surge up to 13 feet–likely to cause flooding in many island and coastal communities.

 

Operation USA has begun readying aid for delivery to community-based partners in impacted areas once damage from the storm becomes known. In addition to shipping relief materials, cleanup supplies and medical/hospital equipment, we are also preparing to make cash grants to aid in recovery and to support long-term recovery programs. Your donations make this work possible. Give now at give.opusa.org.

 

 

September 11, 2018– Hurricane Florence, currently a Category 4 storm, is headed for the Atlantic Coast of the United States and will likely bring catastrophic winds and rain to parts of North and South Carolina, with the potential to also cause flooding and damage in Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Maryland later this week. As of Tuesday, Florence’s center had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and was about 845 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. The massive storm is expected to make landfall late Thursday into early Friday as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.

 
Evacuation orders are in place for large parts of the southeastern United States coastline, and upwards of one million people are expected to flee before the storm hits. The National Hurricane Center has issued warnings for “an extremely dangerous major hurricane” and is advising all those in its path to take necessary safety precautions.

 
Operation USA is monitoring the storm and preparing to provide relief aid supplies and long-term recovery support once the full extent of damage is known and as opportunities allow. Donations at this time will help us to ship material aid–including clean up and rebuilding supplies–to community-based partners and deliver cash grants to aid in recovery. To support these efforts, please visit give.opusa.org.

 
This is a developing storm and we will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

 
For the latest news, click here.

 

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Updates:
PRESS RELEASE: Operation USA to Aid Recovery Efforts Following Hurricane Florence