The Mount Airy/Surry County Branch of the National Association of University Women is one of the area’s newest groups, but that hasn’t stopped it from mounting an ambitious effort to aid storm victims.
It has announced plans for a Hurricane Matthew relief drive, which will involve collecting donations of various items by the public this Friday and Saturday at Walmart in Mount Airy for victims in eastern North Carolina. Water, personal-hygiene products and others will be received at the entrance doors of the store Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The damage is massive and recovery is difficult for families and businesses,” explained Cheryl Yellow Fawn Scott, the president of the Mount Airy/Surry County Branch of the National Association of University Women, which was formed last winter.
It now has 14 members and is being assisted in the hurricane relief effort by the Winston-Salem branch of the group, a national organization founded in 1910 in Washington, D.C.
The project to help storm victims is the biggest the Mount Airy/Surry County branch has sponsored so far during its short history, Scott said Monday.
“So we’re just hitting the ground running.”
The group’s members saw the drive as way to personally help those in need and also enlist the efforts of others in Surry who tend to respond to various crises — “to once again pull together and make a difference,” Scott added.
“We’ve already contacted some of the local schools,” she said.
The depth of the devastation in eastern North Carolina is such that it will take a long time for residents of that area to recover from the recent hurricane and resulting flooding.
“They are appreciative of all help,” Scott mentioned regarding the effort that will involve the mountains reaching out to the sea.
Many items needed
Scott, who has previous disaster-relief experience from Hurricane Katrina, said members of her group spoke with an emergency coordinator in Lumberton — one of the areas hardest hit — to get a list of needed items.
It includes water, paper towels, feminine products, toilet paper, Clorox, lotion, Vaseline, mouthwash, soap, baby formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, shampoo, toothbrushes/toothpaste, deodorant, razor blades, shaving cream, cleaning products and rubber gloves.
Scott said local residents are urged to bring such items to Walmart on Friday and Saturday. “We’ll be there all day long,” she said of group’s members.
She credited Wayne Moseley, general manager at Walmart, “who graciously agreed to allow us to set up at the front of the store.”
Also, Don May of Quality Sales “immediately” donated his truck for items collected and will load the supplies onto pallets to be delivered to eastern North Carolina by a trucking company that wishes to remain anonymous.
“This has been so uplifting,” Scott remarked of such support garnered for the relief effort so far.
“Our members have encountered only positive responses and generosity from our community. It is love in action and a nod to the Mayberry neighborly feel that people around the country and world associate with our wonderful home.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.