GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – September will mark 30 years since Hurricane Hugo devastated the Lowcountry. As we continue our look back, learn how a Georgetown County florist used her shop’s delivery van to help the community pull through the aftermath of the storm.
“That’s what this shop is all about, is helping people.”
A little flower shop in the heart of historic Georgetown, the owner says the shop delivers more than just flowers, it delivers hope.
“I think florist shops are ministries in themselves,” said Jeanette Ard, who owns Colonial Florist.
It’s a hope delivery business that was birthed during the most devastating storm many in her community had ever witnessed — Hurricane Hugo.
“It’s so vivid and so strong in your mind – about the devastation – and the strength of that storm,” she said. “It was like yesterday.”
Thirty years ago, when Hugo rushed ashore, the Georgetown County area was devastated.
Miraculously, Jeannette’s home and flower shop made it through the storm, but so many weren’t so lucky.
“It hit during the night, so a lot of them had no clothes to put on the next morning. You know, they were in the pajamas or whatever they had on that night before or whatever they could find to put on, so they were in immediate need of everything,” she recalled.
So, Jeanette went to work. She loaded her flower shop’s delivery van with supplies and drove from Georgetown to McClellanville to Sampit, dispersing whatever she could to help those devastated from the storm.
“We were out and about and so many of those people were in such a state of shock that they didn’t care what was delivering supplies to them because that was a desperate situation,” she said.
She even loaded a helium tank from her flower shop into her van, so that she could give balloons to the children.
“When they get up in the morning and their house is gone, their toys are gone, everything that’s normal in their life is gone, it’s amazing the smile that a balloon will bring,” she said.
Jeanette says that she is still using her van to help those in need after disaster strikes, because it’s during the tough times, like in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo, that little flower shop vans become hope delivery vehicles.