By Connie Leinbach
Ocracoke islanders who lost food, furniture, clothes and other items from Hurricane Matthew have a resource here in the United Methodist Church.
The church, on School Road, has set up a hurricane relief center for islanders in need to get items and food vouchers as well as donate money and goods to help.
People needing help need not be members of the church, said Mary Bryant, wife of Pastor Richard Bryant.
The church’s finance committee decided to set up accounts for food vouchers at the Variety Store.
“They can only use it for food and household things,” she said. “We’re trying to get a handle on the number of people who lost their things.”
As cash donations come in, the committee also will decide how to distribute those dollars for help with replacing furnishings, paying utility bills or other necessities.
In addition, the church has offered help for people navigating the FEMA website, insurance claims or paperwork related to the flood.
This help is available today (Tuesday) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church or tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 19) from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Ocracoke Community Library on Back Road.
“We will have some wonderful volunteers available to help,” she said.
Also, starting tomorrow, the church will have donated items available in the second-floor classroom. These items include bedding, paper supplies cleaning supplies and more.
This initial batch of items was donated by the good people of Thomasville, N.C., Mary said on a Facebook page set up for this purpose. Richard’s parents live there and put out the call for items, and these will be delivered today.
The Facebook page is “Ocracoke Recovery from Hurricane Matthew.”
The church is accepting donations of cash, services or other goods. Checks can be made out to the Ocracoke United Methodist Church with “Hurricane Relief” in the memo line and sent to P.O. Box 278, Ocracoke, NC 27960.
For more information, Bryant said people are free to stop into the church or call the parsonage at 252-928-4211 and leave a message. This is a landline that is working intermittently since the storm, but she checks voice mail a few times a day.
The church office number is 252-928-6219.
Pastor Bryant’s email is: richardLbryant@gmail.com, and Mary’s is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ivey Belch, pastor of the Ocracoke Assembly of God Church on Lighthouse Road said they also are available to help anyone in need. People may stop by the church or call the church number at 252-928-9001, or email Belch at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.