LUMBERTON — Local churches, organizations and county employees were among people responsible for donating 36 pallets of bottled water to be sent to Houston to help victims of February winter storms who are without water.
A tractor-trailer arrived about 11 a.m. Monday at the Robeson County Parks and Recreation Department on Kenny Biggs Road in Lumberton to transport about 20 cases of water in support of storm victims and the Texas-based National Association of Christian Churches, which helped feed and care for Robeson County residents after hurricanes Matthew and Florence. The remaining pallets were to be transported at a later time.
Wendy Chavis, director of the Parks and Recreation department, remembers how Jose Ortega, director of NACC’s Disaster Services, fed county flood victims while they were housed in hotels after the hurricanes struck in 2016 and 2018. Chavis reached out to Ortega weeks ago, and found that he and the organization had critical needs.
“He said we had water, we’re running out of water,” Chavis said.
So, the department took to social media about two weeks ago to ask the community for help in serving the pastor and organization that gave so much in Robeson County’s times of need. All together, the department collected 36 pallets, each of which held about 36 cases, of bottled water to be taken to Texas.
“It feels awesome,” Chavis said. “I wish we could do a whole lot more.”
Ortega and the Houston-based disaster services organization have been in the city helping people whose water pipes burst during the winter storms.
“There’s a lot of people that still don’t have water,” Ortega said Monday.
The organization continues relief distributions that include meals and water that serve between 3,000 and 5,000 people per event each week, he said. Rebuild efforts also are underway, and construction and plumbing materials are needed.
“I just want to say thank-you,” Ortega said.
“We’re touched by what North Carolina is doing,” he added.
Ortega said he is “forever grateful” for donations from Robeson County and others across North Carolina.
“You guys didn’t have to do this, and here you are helping,” he added.
Individuals and organizations that donated to NACC include Rose of Sharon Church; Mill Branch Baptist Church; Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church; Rockhill Missionary Baptist Church; Ebenezer Baptist Church; New Beginnings Church; St. Mary’s Holiness Church; Star of Bethlehem Church; Bound Branch Baptist Church; Rock Church of God; First Orrum Missionary Church; Thompson Chapel Church; New Hope Baptist Church; Horace Grove Baptist Church; Bethesda International Church; Hilly Branch Baptist Church; St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church; Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church; Antioch Missionary Baptist Church; Pleasant Meadows Baptist Church; Pastor David and Carolyn Powell; Food Lion of Fairmont; Wendy Davis; Gary Burnette and friends; Bernice Stackhouse; T & L Characters; Robeson County Administration, Fleet Operations, Parks and Recreation and Solid Waste departments; Robeson County Offender Resource Center; Lumberton City Councilman Eric Chavis; Mary Hunt; and parents of Camp Robeson.
Chavis said she was proud of contributions from local people, churches, county organizations and churches outside of Robeson County that “stepped up” and hopes the distribution will inspire others within the county and elsewhere to help NACC provide for storm survivors.
To learn more or donate, visit https://nacchelps.org/, call 832-626-7111 or email the nonprofit at [email protected]
The disaster services organization is located at 16605 Air Center Blvd., Houston, Texas. It was founded in 1992 and began its services as a disaster relief organization in 2005, according to the NACC website.
“In the event of a disaster, NACC will respond to local, national, and international disasters providing shelter management, mass feeding, mass care, points of distribution, spiritual counseling, cleanup, debris removal, and rebuilds,” the website reads in part.
Reach Jessica Horne at 910-416-5165 or via email at [email protected]