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The following is a report from the Outer Banks Community Foundation in Southern Shores with additional information from the Ocracoke Interfaith Relief & Recovery Team.
The Outer Banks Community Foundation has allocated and awarded more than $625,000 from its Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund for Hurricane Dorian recovery.
The fund for Ocracoke now totals $1 million, according to MaryAnn Toboz, the foundation’s development and communications manager.
The fund began as thousands of generous donors across the country wanted to help Ocracoke following the disastrous inundation on Sept. 6.
Those funds are being released to Ocracoke via the Firehouse Committee–a group made up of members of the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department.
The allocation includes $200,000 earmarked to install temporary housing trailers purchased by Hyde County. At least 35 families will be able to live in these trailers while their homes are being repaired or rebuilt. The allocation will subsidize utility hook-ups, like septic, water, gas, and power.
Additionally, the Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund has pledged $300,000 for materials and supplies for repair and rebuilding projects. In partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Community Foundation money will be used for building supplies and materials for storm victims, including sheet rock, lumber, shingles and more, with priority focus on helping the elderly and people with medical needs.
“We’re delighted to partner with UMCOR on this rebuilding project, which will benefit at least 60 Ocracoke families,” said Lorelei Costa, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “UMCOR will be leveraging a national pool of volunteers, who will travel to Ocracoke to help families repair and rebuild their homes. With our funds, UMCOR will be able to purchase deeply discounted building materials in bulk, allowing us to help even more families.”
In addition, the Firehouse Committee continues to approve monetary assistance to additional storm victims each week to help them pay bills. Funds have been awarded for roof repairs, appliances, furniture, vehicle replacement, utilities, rental assistance, wheelchair ramps, medications, medical equipment, insulation, electrical repairs and much more.
Additionally, the Firehouse Committee recently purchased 60 space heaters, which were distributed to families in time for the approaching winter.
But the Disaster Relief Fund is only one of several sources of aid Ocracoke has leveraged since the storm.
The Ocracoke Interfaith Relief & Recovery Team (OIRRT) is carrying forth Ocracoke’s recovery. If you have concerns or immediate emergency needs please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 833-543-3248 and a case worker will contact you.
Residents are then assigned to caseworkers who work to fulfill the needs whether by donated goods or application to the Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund, also known as the Fire House Fund.
Most of the individual applications that are being reviewed by the Firehouse Committee were submitted through the Ocracoke Recovery Center and vetted by volunteer caseworkers. As caseworkers continue meeting with victims to ascertain needs, the Firehouse Committee meets several times each week to review cases, award monies and write checks.
Any storm victim who did not apply for help through the Ocracoke Recovery Center can still request assistance from the Ocracoke Disaster Relief Fund. Full-time residents are invited to contact the Firehouse Committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 to the Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund are tax-deductible, and every penny of every gift will be used to directly assist local individuals and families. Neither the Community Foundation nor any of its nonprofit partners are using disaster relief donations for fees, salaries, or administrative or operating expenses.
Donations can be made securely online at www.obxdisaster.org.
Teresa Adams, the Hyde County liaison to Ocracoke, is now in the Life Saving Church from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, to help with all applications and information. The deadline to apply for SBA loans is Dec. 16.