ONLY ON 2: Local Organization helps NC families after Florence

Local News

DUPLIN COUNTY, NC (WCBD) –  A local week-old organization is making a huge impact by flying thousands of pounds of supplies to North Carolina for families who have lost everything after Hurricane Florence. 

“We have nothing,” Brittany Russ said. 

Brittany and Josh Russ have been left wondering how their family of five will get back on their feet after losing nearly everything they own. The Russ’ are homeowners in Duplin County, NC where 60 percent of homes have been destroyed after Hurricane Florence. 

“Our house is gone, car is gone, we only have one car left,” Brittany said. 

With a one-year-old and a three-year-old daughter, they’re making sure their children are their number one priority. 

“We lost everything where we lay our head down every night,” Josh said. 

“We have nothing,” Brittany said. “We are just making sure our kids are happy.”

As of now, the Russ family’s only way of survival is staying at a friend’s house and relying on organizations like Fighting Flo in the Lowcountry. 

“They have been amazing,” Brittany said. “They are giving us everything we need, especially for our kids.” 

Fighting Flo in the Lowcountry is a grassroots organization that was established after three woman set out on a mission to get supplies out to areas hit the hardest by Florence. 

“It’s beautiful here in the Charleston area today,” Lisa Scott with FFL said. “Less than 200 miles from us, areas are flooded out and people had to leave their homes with the clothes on their backs, carrying their babies or having their toddlers swim through the water and they have nothing.”

FFL plans to give them everything they can by flying supplies daily to areas like Duplin County, NC. FFL has many volunteers making this all happen including all of the donors, 80 volunteer drop-off locations for the donated supplies, volunteer delivery drivers, volunteers that help load the supplies on the planes, the Mount Pleasant Airport, the pilots that volunteer their time to fly the planes and many more. 

“We truly could not do this without the help of the many people who have donated their time to making this all happen,” said Julie Grundhal with the Mount Pleasant Airport. 

The organization is working with Operation Air Drop at Mount Pleasant airport. FFL has delivered more than 14,000 pounds of relief supplies, and in addition to OAD’s efforts, more than 28,000 pounds of supplies have flown out of the Mount Pleasant Airport. 

The two organizations work together to create drop off days and times to deliver packages. Some of the main people they coordinate with to make this all happen are volunteer pilots that use their own time, money, and airplanes to fly back and forth to deliver supplies. 

Once the supplies are delivered, organizations in those respective counties pick up the supplies. Monday, supplies were dropped off in Duplin County where volunteers from the Kenansville Baptist Church picked up the supplies. 

“We’ve had volunteers as young as four and as old as in their 70s,” said Amy Chrismon, coordinator for Kenansville Baptist Church. 

Chrismon says the church has only been collecting and distributing supplies for two days, and in those days they’ve helped more than 2,400 people. 

“That’s what God tells us to do in scripture, to take care of those in need,” Chrismon said. “That’s why we do what we do.” 

The Kenansville Baptist Church is how the Russ family is getting the necessary items they need to survive as their house currently sits in 23ft. of water. 

Chrismon says majority of the supplies the church has given out has come from Charleston after FFL delivered them. 

FFL has been delivering supplies for a week and says they will continue as long as there’s a need.

To find out more information on how to help FFL or donate, click here to visit their website. 

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