Mercy Corps & RCDRC Partner to provide Rapid Assistance to Florence Survivors
Jill Morehead with Mercy Corps distributes a $150 rapid assistance gift card to a Hurricane Matthew & Florence survivor who is receiving Disaster Case Management Services from RCDRC.
RCDRC News | Less than two years after Hurricane Matthew devastated neighborhoods in Robeson County and throughout the surrounding region with record rainfall and deadly floods, Hurricane Florence further damaged deeply wounded communities with more record breaking impacts that have made recovery even more difficult for many.
And if that was not enough just a few weeks later the remnants of Hurricane Michael compounded the challenges that our community faces exponentially as we experience the sobering reality of a rapidly increasing domino effect facilitated by a raging tide of multidimensional factors that include climate change, poverty, unemployment, health disparities, and more. Nonetheless in the midst of this real-time nightmare God continues to bless this community by demonstrating that light can indeed shine through the darkness.
Mercy Corps & LuminAid Live in Lumberton!
In September and October 2018, Mercy Corps identified a need for up to 1,500 PackLite Hero 2-in-1 Supercharger lanterns in their emergency response to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. LuminAid's supporters helped Mercy Corps reach this goal and bring light and power to families left in the dark.
As thousands of individuals and families raced to find tarps to cover rain ravaged rooftops, and desperately collected basic essentials like water, food, and other supplies at RCDRC’s numerous outreach events that were provided during the initial disaster response phase of Hurricane Florence, the ongoing and emerging suffering in our area touched the heart of Mercy Corps, “a global humanitarian organization that focuses on empowering people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities.” As a result, 1,000 rapid assistance gift cards of $150 from Mercy Corps were distributed to eligible households. This timely investment [valued at $150,000] enabled survivors to address a range of disaster related unmet needs while experiencing a tangible example of mercy, grace and hope.
Hurricane Florence left Janette without heat in her home due to storm damage to her HVAC system. In this video she explains how the $150 client assistance card that she received helped her to buy a space heater.
Cassandra Campbell, the Executive Director of RCDRC highlights that Mercy Corp contacted her in October 2018 to express their desire to develop a unique and innovative strategic partnership with Robeson County’s official Long Term Recovery Group [LTRG]. Looking back reflectively with thanksgiving Campbell provided a key point of context and perspective: “RCDRC’s access to clients through our pre-existing Disaster Case Management program that was established the in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, and our well established collaborative network of diverse local, state and federal stakeholders enhances our capacity us to produce high impact domestic recovery solutions with global humanitarian organizations who typically focus on international response initiatives around the world. The fact that Mercy Corps chose to work with RCDRC while our local headquarters was damaged demonstrates their commitment to serve communities in need, and to work with organizations whose core focus and mission is also humanitarian disaster relief.”
Mercy Corps also provided training, technology, and other tools
Mercy Corps also donated LuminAid solar powered lights that include a charging port for mobile devices. RCDRC distributed LuminAid at outreach events in the weeks following Florence, and we continue to distribute them to eligible clients while supplies last. This life saving device has proven itself to be an incredible resource in our area since frequent power outages continued in some communities for several weeks following the initial impact of the storm.
Keenly focused on addressing the widespread, multi-disaster related unmet needs throughout the county, our new strategic partnership with Mercy Corps expanded RCDRC’s capacity to distribute thousands of recovery supplies and provide rapid client assistance simultaneously in the weeks that followed the initial impact of Hurricane Florence. As information about the Mercy Corps gift cards traveled through the community the crowds grew, the streets were filled with traffic, and a buzz of hope filled air. This synergy not only helped us to increase community awareness about the benefits of Disaster Case Management Services provided by RCDRC, it also nurtured and supported our ongoing and emerging efforts to reach diverse, vulnerable populations who have been directly impacted by disaster.
RCDRC & Mercy Corps Impact: Public Schools of Robeson Co.
Serilda Goodwin, Migrant Education Recruiter with the Public Schools of Robeson County (PSRC) and a volunteer Disaster Case Manager with the Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee (RCDRC) explains how the client assistance cards that were distributed to eligible Hurricane Florence survivors that are enrolled in PSRC's Migrant Education Program [ MEP ] helped to address a myriad of disaster related unmet needs. Days after Florence, PSRC 's MEP program partnered with TheStimulus.org to conduct a Hurricane Florence Rapid Needs Assessment, and the data collected helped PSRC quickly identify the most vulnerable MEP households.
About Mercy Corps
We are Mercy Corps, a global organization facing the world’s toughest challenges and putting bold ideas into action. In more than 40 countries we partner with youth, women, community leaders, government, influencers, businesses, supporters and people like you. Together, we create positive change. When connected to the resources they need, people can survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. Because we believe in the power of human potential. We have helped 220 million people build a brighter future for themselves, their families, their community and our world. Together, a better world is possible. We are Mercy Corps.