Volunteers assisting residents with recovery

By: Jael Pembrick - Staff Writer

LAURINBURG — For Angela Cummings and her son, the sky almost really did fall two weeks ago.

As Hurricane Florence swamped the region 10 days ago, Cummings’ home became a sive when the roof began leaking severely, allowing the rain to pour in.

“The roof was ruined that Friday, and all weekend the rain just kept coming,” said Cummings, ” I saved what I could.”

Cummings, along with almost 200 other Scotland County residents, were out on Thursday looking for assistance from volunteers at New Hope Baptist Church in Laurinburg.

The church, N.C. Baptist on a Mission organization, along with volunteers from all over the state are offering Disaster Recovery Aid for homeowners with damages caused by the storm. They also are offering help with fallen trees on houses or in yards. Teams of eight to 10 people go to homes and give free service to those in need — removing personal items, debris, and tearing out and treating homes for mold.

Black mold has started to grow in Cumming’s house, so the volunteers have been tearing out the walls, ceiling, and offering emotional support to the mother and her son. Cummings said tshe is worried about her teen and how this is affecting him. The two had stayed in the Scotland Inn for 18 days and, this Thursday, they were told that they needed to move out of their own home.

“This is his senior year (and) he does not want to go anywhere else, it’s overwhelming,” said Cummings, holding back tears.

They are still searching for a place to stay.

“We want people to know that someone cares,” said Joe Walls, a volunteer from Rockingham. “We may not understand why things happen, but we know that God is in control.”

Walls says they plan to use a “spray fog” to kill the mold spores in Cumming’s home.

“Volunteers come and stay at the church for several days at a time,” said Debbie Holloway, an administration volunteer. “We do it because we want to share Jesus’ love with others.”

Glen and Barbara Davenport drove from Columbia in their camper. They both plan to stay the weekend and volunteer where needed. Barbara said the couple have continued to volunteer since Hurricane Katrina — Glen is an electrical contractor and has years of experience with working in homes.

“We stay in a sliver of the state that was not affected,” said Barbara Davenport, “and we just want to help.”

Disaster Relief Operations Director Dennis Hollaway said he has four or five teams sent out each day and he is expecting more volunteers to join.

“This is three times worse than Hurricane Matthew, everybody in this area has been affected in some way by the storm,” said Hollaway.

He radded that the volunteers only stop for lunch and try their best to finish a home in a day. He says that Modern Woodmen of America has donated $10,000 of materials to the cause.

“The goal is to put as many people back into their homes as possible,” said Hollaway.

To apply for assistance, visit New Hope Baptist Church at 11480 Hasty Road., Laurinburg, or call Debbie Hollaway at 910-408-5334.

Jael Pembrick can be reached at 910-506-3169 or [email protected]

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Local church helps mother, others after Hurricane Florence

Jael Pembrick

Staff Writer