Even as Hurricane Michael was brewing off the coast of Florida last Monday, Oct. 8, a group of Upper School students, joined by parents, faculty and staff, used a school holiday to make a delivery of much-needed supplies to a relief agency in New Bern, which experienced significant flooding during Hurricane Florence only three weeks earlier.
Buoyed by a schoolwide collection effort, the group delivered nine pallets of donations — containing everything from nonperishable food items to cleaning supplies and toiletries — to Religious Community Services, which is just three blocks from the banks of the Neuse River, where unprecedented storm surge created flooding throughout much of the town in the hours after Florence made landfall on Sept. 14.
Led by Derek Hughes '19 and Eva Guarino '19, who did the research to determine the location where the donations would make the greatest impact and then coordinated the sign-ups for volunteers, the group loaded up the supplies here and traveled to the warehouse there, unloading supplies and helping to sort donations for several hours. Other students who traveled to New Bern included Audrey Hughes '21, Dominic Young-Smith '19, Will Tierney '19, Sergi Roura '19 and Madelyn Mehr '19.
"Derek and Eva did a great job organizing and making our trip to New Bern an amazing success. Dominic, Audrey, Sergi, Maddy and Will need to be thanked and commended on their participation on a day off from classes," said Kevin Billerman, assistant head of Upper School for student leadership, who also volunteered through the trip. "To be able to help those affected by Hurricane Florence in a direct way was life-altering. Thank you to the entire Ravenscroft Community for the contributions to help those disadvantaged by this terrible storm."
As the southeastern parts of the state continue to recover from catastrophic flooding due to Hurricane Florence, relief efforts are also underway for communities affected by Hurricane Michael, which left a trail of destruction through Florida and Georgia before hitting western and central North Carolina as a tropical storm. American Red Cross and United Way Relief are among the organizations providing relief specifically for residents affected by Michael.