Man kayaks for local disaster relief


SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — While some Red Cross volunteers are making their way back from Oklahoma, one man is traveling home after 12 days on the water where he aimed to make a difference from the inside of his kayak.

Larry Williamson is not your typical Red Cross volunteer. He has a unique way of helping his community, in his kayak.

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“This was my way of trying to do something personal to raise money for the Red Cross,” Larry Williamson a Red Cross Volunteer says.

Williamson paddled through wind, rain and rough seas on his 220 mile journey on the Intracoastal Waterways. His goal is to raise $14,000 for the American Red Cross. For Williamson, it’s a mission that hits close to home. The Red Cross responded when his mom needed a blood transfusion.

“I remember sitting in that quiet hospital room looking up at that bag of blood and just thinking how far that must have traveled,” Williamson says.

Williamson says many people tend to only think of the Red Cross after major disasters and may not know the organization helps with daily needs.

“The people with home fires, or floods and so forth that they’re just helping on a day to day basis,” Williamson says.

Bill Brent with the Red Cross says all the money raised will help the Eastern North Carolina disaster relief fund. He says being in a high-risk region means we need to be prepared for whatever may come our way this season.

“Hurricane season starts in just a few days. Our intention right now is on preparation for hurricane season making sure we have our volunteer resources, material resources in place and ready,” Bill Brent the Red Cross Eastern North Carolina Region CEO says.

With more than $8,000 already raised, Williamson is the 6th largest fundraiser in the nation, but he says he’s still aiming for $14,000.