After Hurricane Florence struck Sampson County, a group of Newton Grove volunteers are continuing to spread hope.
The projects “Circle of Hope” and “Laundry 4 Lineman” were held to help people in need.
“There was a huge amount of volunteers that helped make this happen,” Volunteer Dana Allen said. “Everybody came together and it was wonderful to see the amount of support that we had. Everybody in Sampson County jumped on board and wanted to help.”
It started with collection efforts at Food Lion in Newton Grove. Items were sent to N.C. Delta Waterfowl, the Sampson County Exposition Center, and the North Carolina Baptist Men. Enclosed trailers were filled with donations. A collection site was recently established at Newton Grove’s Town Hall.
Allen and Jessica Herring led the way with the assistance of other volunteers.
“There were so many of us that were fortunate and not so many that were fortunate as we were,” Allen said. “It could have very easily been us. I think it was the right thing to do by coming together and trying to help these people. If it was us in the situation, we would want others to help us.”
Jessica Herring also played a major role in the process after seeing Allen’s post. This led her to hold a collection with her family along with her friend Nicole Bass.
“When you are spared in a natural disaster, you are blessed because you can sleep in your own bed, wear your own clothes, take a warm shower, have lights and A/C,” Herring said. “I can’t even imagine the despair these people that are displaced from their homes must feel. We want to give them hope for a new beginning and better days ahead. Kindness is contagious and plants seeds that you watch grow,” Herring said while relating it to farming.
The project was called Circle of Hope since most of the volunteers are from the Newton Grove area, which contains a busy roundabout. It’s also inspired by Proverbs 11:25 — “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. This turned into us being able to help people across the state.”
“After the storm, comes the rainbow of hope,” Herring said. “This has truly been a community effort because so many people have helped make a lot of this possible. Proud and overwhelmed is an understatement.”
The Laundry 4 Lineman was setup to help crews stationed at the Exposition Center. It was headed by Nikki Sinclair, Cortney Brown, Nicole Bass, Lauren Wade West, Jessica Hudson, Allen, and Bass. Countless volunteers and donations made it successful. Paul Stanley, owner of Soap City, and Operations Manager Charlie Sloan opened up the laundry facility after operating hours to assist. West organized a Facebook page to make the public aware of needs.
As of Friday morning, 95 loads of laundry were collected and another event was held on Saturday. The purpose was to show appreciation for people working under challenging conditions.
“This hurricane brought out the best in people,” Allen said. “I am humbled by the amount support I have seen.”
Allen expressed how a small gesture turned into something huge, which united the community.
“My hope is that this fire that has been ignited will continue to burn in the future,” Allen said. “I hope that the same amount of love shown over this past week will be shown as the aftermath of this nightmare diminishes. I saw an army of loving, generous people come together to help the people of Sampson County and beyond. I will always be thankful to have had the pleasure of being a soldier in this army.”
For more information about volunteer efforts contact Allen at 919-594-7019.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.