Dorian flood waters reached the level of the door windows at the Deepwater Theater. Ocracoke Alive has received a rapid response grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Photo by David Tweedie

The Outer Banks Community Foundation in Southern Shores has awarded over $70,000 in Rapid Response Grants to nonprofits that are leading disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and to nonprofits that were devastated by the storm.

The Community Foundation has been busily raising money to help families and individuals from Ocracoke and Dare County recover from the storm.

However, the funding for the Rapid Response Grants is from the foundation’s own endowment and is in addition to—and separate from—the new money raised for Ocracoke and Hatteras residents.

Ocracoke sustained more damage from flooding than Hatteras, and several island nonprofits received rapid response grants to repair facilities and/or replace damaged equipment.

The Ocracoke Seafood Company, owned and operated by the nonprofit Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association, was flooded and its ice house and retail space destroyed. OWWA received an $8,000 grant to repair its ice house in time for the fall southern flounder fishery, which is economically important to local fishermen.

“The Ocracoke Food Pantry, the Ocracoke Community Park, Deepwater Theater, the Ocracoke Community Library—all operated by nonprofits, all sustained debilitating storm damage,” said Lorelei Costa, executive director. “Our primary focus has been raising funds to assist residents that were incapacitated by Dorian, but with the Rapid Response Grants, we are also recognizing that many of our local nonprofits were just as hard hit.

“As soon as the storm winds died, nonprofits and volunteers were on the ground, in the receding waters, assisting storm victims—feeding people, mucking out houses, clearing debris, providing supplies. Some of our nonprofits did this with no funding, or they depleted their hard-won reserves in order to provide emergency services to their neighbors.”

Among the recipients of the rapid response grants were Hatteras Island Community Emergency Response Team, Ocracoke Fire Prevention Association, Interfaith Community Outreach, and Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men. All four nonprofits received grants for supplies, equipment, and tools to aid in their disaster recovery efforts.

The Beach Food Pantry, which has been supplying fresh fruits and vegetables to Ocracoke, received support, along with Hatteras Island Meals, the Food Bank of the Albemarle, and the Elizabeth City Corps of the Salvation Army, which has been providing hot meals to storm victims and first responders.

Even on Roanoke Island, the Elizabethan Gardens lost a greenhouse, fencing, electrical systems, and numerous trees and plantings. An anonymous donor-advised fund at the foundation will be assisting the gardens with their rebuild.

The Rapid Response Grants were supported by the foundation’s largest and broadest grant-making pool, the Community Fund, as well as numerous donor-advised and designated funds at the Community Foundation, including the Cathi Ostrander Family Fund, the Charles H. & Dorothy S. Luedemann Arts Fund, the Hatteras Fund, the Kelly Family Fund, the Preston Family Fund, the Shirley & David Doran Memorial Fund, the Simpson Sharp Oakes Fund and the Spencer Family Fund.

The Outer Banks Community Foundation continues to collect financial contributions to assist individuals and families in Dare County and Ocracoke who have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

All contributions are tax-deductible, and every penny of every gift will be used to directly assist local individuals and families. Donations can be made securely online at


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  1. So glad to see Ocracoke making some progress. We miss going to Ocracoke my father in law is visiting us from Montana we were looking so forward to taking him over for a visit but since that is. It permitted thank you for all the pictures you post so we can share them with him. Our prayers and support are with all at Ocracoke

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