An organization of Christian men that offers assistance in the wake of natural disasters has joined with a Lenoir County church and county officials to provide $5,000 to the parent organizations of public schools in the southern region of the county hard-hit by the flooding that followed Hurricane Matthew.
Rev. Justin Barnett of Jackson Heights FWB Church, and Lenoir County Commissioner J. Mac Daughety presented checks of $1,000 each Thursday to representatives of PTAs at Southwood, Moss Hill and Pink Hill elementary schools, Woodington Middle School and South Lenoir High School.
The money came from Banded Brothers, a nonprofit assistance group based in Wake County, and was provided “without stipulation” beyond being used as “relief money for flood victims,” Daughety said.
Every public school in the county had students and staffs displaced at least temporarily by flash floods during the storm or flooding that followed, but southern Lenoir County was particularly affected by rising water from the Neuse River and its tributaries. For more than a week, it was cut off from the rest of the county as US 70 and NC 11 were swamped by flood waters.
Daughety said the donors decided to work through the PTAs because schools had been proactive in identifying the needs of their students and families. “We thought this was one of the most effective ways to reach them,” he said Thursday after presenting a check to Pink Hill Elementary School PTA president Jennifer Tyndall.
Banded Brothers was organized in 2006 to offer assistance to survivors of social, natural, economic and spiritual disaster and its members participated in more than 15 relief mission trips to areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The group has responded to last month’s floods here by soliciting financial contributions and supplies.
“Words cannot express the gratitude that we have at Moss Hill for the heartwarming generosity of the Banded Brothers organization and Jackson Heights Church’s Benevolence Fund,” said Stacy Cauley, principal of Moss Hill Elementary School, where more than 30 students remain displaced. The school’s PTA will use the $1,000 donation as seed money for the Moss Hill Angel Fund, which will be used to help Moss Hill families in need.
Pink Hill’s PTA has established a similar fund and the check received Thursday, along with additional contributions, will be used to address “future needs of our students and families,” principal Lee Anne Hardy said.
Daughety said previous donations collected by Daughety, Jackson Heights Church and other southern Lenoir groups have assisted about 1,200 families so far.
“It’s been a pleasure to help in this way,” Barnett said. “It’s been great.”
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