Florence survivors receive gift cards


NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — Hundreds of families across the Cape Fear are still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

For the holiday, a local disaster team is showing survivors that they are not forgotten.

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The recovery process is ongoing and despite their losses, one family still has something to look forward to, another Christmas holiday together and a free meal.

Since Hurricane Florence destroyed a New Hanover County family’s home, they’ve had to make some living adjustments.

Survivor Arealious Peters says, “We was struggling with so many other things outside of the house.”

Peters and his family is just one of the roughly 400 families still living in FEMA campers across the state.

The Lutheran Services Carolinas Disaster Team is donating $30 gift cards to these families to help with holiday meals.

Cassandra Simpson says the recovery process has been trying.

“To try to get back a little, slowly but surely day by day, everybody, FEMA…the state, is helping us. We greatly appreciate it because it’s been a very rough time for us,” Simpson said.

Disaster Director Paul Dunn says the main goal is to bring survivors a little Christmas joy and remind them they are not overlooked.

“The response has been gratitude but as we tell them, they thank us, no, we thank you for allowing us to be part of this journey with you because it’s giving us all a sense of purpose, and that purpose for everybody I believe should be, ‘We’re here to help each other,'” Dunn said.

The Team will be distributing gift cards to families in 13 counties including Craven, Jones, Columbus, Robeson, New Hanover, Pender, Onslow, Duplin, Bladen, Pamlico, Carteret, Cumberland, and Brunswick counties.