Chatham Charter Partnership For Flood Donation, A Success
The donation drive that began the week of October 10 to help victims of flooding following Hurricane Matthew has turned into a continuing community effort. As of Monday morning, October 17, a tractor trailer was required to transport all the items donated to people in Robeson County by residents of Siler City and surrounding communities. A group of twelfth graders and adults from Chatham Charter School joined police, city workers, and community members in loading the truck that will deliver collected items to Fairmont later Monday.
INSPIRED TO HELP
Chatham Charter Board Chair Kathy Wilson was inspired to help organize the local efforts after watching the news coverage of flooding from Hurricane Matthew with her daughter, who is a high school senior. They talked about how they could have the biggest impact to support those in need. Wilson considered Chatham Charter alone has 550 students and many might have extra clothing items they had outgrown that their families would be willing to donate.
She also realized if the Siler City community set up a donation drive for clothing, the money flood victims receive from other relief organizations could be used for other needs. Wilson noted that even if the used clothing was only worn during home and business cleanup efforts, it could fill a void.
“People want to help but don’t always know what to do so if you can take a step of faith and set up the infrastructure, people will participate,” commented Wilson.
Wilson began Monday morning, October 10, by organizing a clothing donation drive at Chatham Charter. As the project progressed, Walmart discounted the bins purchased for collection. Police Chief Gary Tyson, Siler City Town Manager Bryan Thompson, First Baptist Pastor Tony Capehart and church member Ed Spence, who was also working with the NC Baptist Men’s response, were instrumental in a growing Siler City effort to reach out to those in need. In addition to the Town of Siler City (City Hall, the Fire Department and the Police Department) and First Baptist Church, the State Employees Credit Union, Fidelity Bank, and the Western Chatham Senior Center also signed on as collection centers. The items being collected also expanded to food, water and blankets. The Town had committed one of its trucks to deliver the donations to Robeson County on October 17th, but the number of donations exceeded the truck’s capacity. Darrell Andrews Trucking generously filled the need with one of its trucks.
Jacquanette Thompson, a Siler City resident with family in Robeson County has been volunteering in the flooded area, helped Chief Tyson and other organizers make connections to deliver the items to the most helpful location, a church in Fairmont.
The organizers have decided to continue gathering community support through targeted collections. There will be a “product of the week” announced on WNCA AM 1570 radio and through the school, business and community partners.