Volunteers needed in North Carolina for hurricane recovery

This flooded property in the Lumberton, N.C., is among an estimated 100,000 homes, businesses and government buildings that together endured $1.5 billion in damage across the state during and after Hurricane Matthew.Disaster relief volunteers are urgently needed to help North Carolina residents recover from flooding damage wrought by Hurricane Matthew, said Richard Brunson, executive director of North Carolina Baptist Men.

"Teams are needed to help individuals and families remove the wet furniture, floors, walls and other items as needed. We will need many recovery volunteers for many months to come," Brunson said Oct. 24. "Thousands of homes and many thousands of people were affected by Hurricane Matthew and we need volunteers to assist with cleanup for the long term."

Hurricane Matthew killed at least 26 people and caused $1.5 billion in property damage in North Carolina alone, weather.com reported. Another 22 were killed in the southeastern United States and nearly 1,400 in the Caribbean and Haiti during the storm's track Sept. 28-Oct. 10.

Volunteers do not need prior DR training, Brunson said, as on-the-job training will be provided together with free lodging and meals.

Already, DR volunteers have responded from Baptist conventions in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as the Texas Baptist Men, the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas and the Virginia General Baptist convention.

Feeding units have prepared 300,000 hot meals and continue such outreach, Brunson said, with many volunteers active in mud-out, tear-out, chainsaw, chaplaincy, showers and laundry units, among other outreaches. Large feeding kitchens and volunteers are serving in Fayetteville, Lumberton, Kinston, Greenville, Whiteville and Wallace counties, and are targeting additional areas flooded in the storm.

"Pray for safety and the witness of our disaster relief volunteers," Brunson urged. "Pray that God's love will be shown to hurting people and they will want to know more about our great God who loves them. Pray for churches in the affected areas."

Volunteers may register at http://baptistsonmission.org/HurricaneMatthew and learn additional information at the NCBM Facebook page, Facebook.com/ncmissions.

Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. BP (bpnews.net) reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.

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