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Ravens Donate Supplies, Time and Labor to Hurricane Florence Relief

Even as Hurricane Michael was brewing off the coast of Florida on 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 by Hurricane Florence only three weeks earlier.

The delivery was made possible by the generosity of many Ravens, big and small, who brought in donations — everything from nonperishable food items to cleaning supplies and toiletries — out of compassion for residents in the east, many of whom had lost everything.

“We had a great response to our request for donations in the Lower School,” said counselor Mary Ripple. “We had to empty the room out a few times to make room for more! The parents of Arison ’28 and Ashton Wells ’25 did a collection at their dental office and brought a ton of items to us as well.”

In the Middle School, Student Government representatives took on the challenge of coordinating the collections, eventually helping to pack the transport box for delivery to New Bern. 

“We were fortunate to have SGA representative Andrew Abbott ’24 bring in a large donation to the hurricane relief,” Kim Ewing, SGA sponsor, said. “His mother, Mara Mont, shared with me that they had prepared for the possibility of the storm by purchasing items that they ultimately did not use, so they wanted to pass them along to those who needed them.”

“We never lost power, only heavy wind and rain for a couple of days. Other areas were not so fortunate,” Andrew explained. “We needed to pay it forward.”

Buoyed by this schoolwide collection effort, the Upper School group delivered nine pallets of donations 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, the group unloaded supplies and helped 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 still underway for communities affected by Hurricane Michael. American Red Cross and United Way Relief are among the organizations providing relief specifically for residents affected by these storms.

Check out this great infographic produced by Upper School yearbook and online news students for their coverage of Hurricane Florence’s impact on Ravenscroft students and staff.