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Hurricane Michael Veteran Relief Team Mission

by North Carolina Military Veterans Hall of Fame
Hurricane Michael Veteran Relief Team Mission
Hurricane Michael Veteran Relief Team Mission
Hurricane Michael Veteran Relief Team Mission
Hurricane Michael Veteran Relief Team Mission
Hurricane Michael Veteran Relief Team Mission
Hurricane Michael Veteran Relief Team Mission
Hurricane Michael Veteran Relief Team Mission
Streets of Bay County
Streets of Bay County

Hello friends,

We hope and pray all is well for you who are reading this.

 

As we prepare for the 2nd week of hurricane season, we look at the current state of Panama City, Mexico Beach and all of Bay County.

Our most recent missions were done north of those areas in Callaway. For two days we issued necessary food and toiletry items to about 150 families. We can never say thank you enough to you, our partners and family, who have seen us through the mission thus far.

We will shed light on the overall conditions now.

Roughly 10% of families have left the county (according to quite a few locals). Their homes were obliterated and they had no choice. Those who remain are receiving very little help, if any, from government agencies. FEMA has beed a nonfactor in many cases and the county has no monies being issued as relief funds from the government were idle due to voting in Congress for many months. Now that an alottment has been passed, it will take weeks if not months to dispurse and many people feel (and we see) that those efforts in many cases will be too little too late as the extreme of damage has been done.

In essence what we are saying is: where 3-4 months ago, if a family needed simple roof patching or shop-vac/  drywall assistance because of the lack of response the same family situation may now require a complete rebuild (due to mold, corrosion and dilapidated structures) however, the government has no plans on upping the families alottment. Also, insurance companies in the region have pulled out (closed down) in many cases.

Hundreds (if not thousands) remain in tents, make-shift homes and temporaryily over crowded single family units.

Please spread the word today about our efforts!

We thank you so much for all of your prayers and support!

Links:

Home abandoned
Home abandoned

Good evening.

It has been nearly 2 months since our last report and we wanted to update you after we wrapped up the mission today and headed home for a couple of days. We are returning on Monday night so we are going to rest.

The update:

Much of Mexico Beach is becoming unsalvageable at this point. The lack of funding via FEMA and insurance companies is transparent and the homes and businesses are going to ruins. Even historic landmarks and churches probably won't be spared.

Where there is no rebuild money or insurance, there appears to be a lack of hope in some peoples eyes.

This week alone we passed out enough food to fill about 29 feet of a 35 foot semi-trailer. Water lines are mainly restored in the area, but people have become solely reliant on bottled water out of fear (and honestly we can't blame them).

Just last week, as many of you know, hundreds of families lost housing as FEMA cancelled hotel payments as well as temporary shelter locations. So many residents are back to being reliant on charity and available aid units like ours for supplies and food.

The closest large retail store to Mexico Beach is a Walmart in central Panama City, 40 miles away which is another area we have done missions in and is largely stable but still recovering. 

Overall, this area depended on tourism dollars and small "blue collar" jobs, of which many never rebounded: even 6 months now after Hurricane Michael. The outskirts of the city including Callaway are still heavily damaged and people feel trapped with nowhere to go and no more aid coming in.

Next week, we will be serving the eastern side of Panama City (closer to Tyndall Air Force Base) and of course Mexico Beach with the supplies we have in our stock now.

Please continue to share our messages and pages as we continue to help those in need in these areas.

Thank you.

Church 6 months later
Church 6 months later
Scattered homes on the coast
Scattered homes on the coast

Links:

New Computer Usage Center!
New Computer Usage Center!

Hello everyone.

This update holds good news in our efforts!

On Monday the 4th of February, we opened a location at an old office building, where people can come and use computers/ internet who may not be able to get service at their homes still!

That is exciting being that so many people are still trying to solidify contact outside of their areas and are looking for work, since so many companies left the area (not to return)!

The computers (15 of them) came to us via a donation from a businessman in South Carolina, where we drove down to pick them up! God is so awesome! *see photo

In other news... unfortunately the county was overwhelmed in trying to excavate, renovate and re-open schools that their budget can't cover it all: so they will be shutting some schools down and trying to consolidate them into centralized locations around the county. So, we will continue to try to bring together school supplies, and essential educaitonal needs so the kids who can't travel to a building are situated in their homes.

Aside from that, major hauling now has a new date to be completed, (in the way of the city hauling efforts) which is now May 11th. 

We are still collecting for clothing, food, water, water filtration kits, tarp, wood (for roofing and structural support), and whatever else we can aford to help people with in the rebuild efforts. To be transparent, we also helped one family get some medicine they needed.

Again, we have limited our trips down to cut back on our own gas and personal funds for travel/ food and housing so we only come every two weeks or so for 4 days or so at a time: howver, we (along with yourselves) are making great strides and will see the mission through!

God bless you all and thank you...

Curtis, Jeff, Joe and the team

Links:

Good evening all.

Just a quick update for you all.

We are now officially in phase 3 of our efforts, which is rebuild. 

In this phase of response it is 90% exactly what the term entails: we are helping disaster victims rebuild the actual structures (if possible) and its entails that create safe livable homes and businesses. So, we've gone from Rescue and Recovery to Rebuild.

We are now looking to purchase basic structural materials such as tarp, lumber, nails and plastic (and some adhesives). The other 10% of donations will continue to go to the everyday needs of individuals being: access to food, clothing, water and meds. We'd like to help with trailers, but FEMA has told us the next order of those is a long ways off. So in the interim, we will keep doing what we are in the buildings that stand, though they are temporary (due to ongoing positive results of mode or structure damage/ instability).

Also, as expected, sicknesses in the area is increasing. So we will try to keep buying coats and sanitizer to distribute as well.

Thank you all for staying apart of our team.

I have attached a few links of updates from the web as well.

Links:

Good day all!

Happy New Year to you all, and we wish the best of blessings to you and yours from our team.

We apologize that we did not do a report after the holiday. We initially were going to drive down to Bay County Florida on the 26th of December, but inclimate weather held us back. Thus we didn't make the trip until yesterday the 2nd of January.

However, we had an amazing time! We delivered more clothes (mainly jackets and hats), as well as some donated computers, to needing families who are still in the early stages of rebuilding their lives following Hurricane Michael.

I think it had an even more profoud impact on their lives as many people were shocked to see a group of veterans coming out to their communities and helping AFTER the holidays. For many we talked to, alot of organizations came out on Christmas Eve and Christmas day to give to them what they could and even cook for them: and they LOVED the presence of all who came out! But they thought that the kind-heartedness would end as the holidays ended.

They were in for a treat when our team showed up ready to work and give so many days after the holidays! It was like we were sending the message: the world cares about you year round, and we will never forget your pain... we will always be here for you!

Such a powerful moment, and we can't wait to get back down to do more. So as we head home now, we ask that you all continue to spread the word on our efforts.

Thank you so much for your 2018 efforts! 2019 is going to be amazing!!!! 

Links:

 

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Organization Information

North Carolina Military Veterans Hall of Fame

Location: Charlotte, NC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Curtis Drafton
Board Member - Marketing Director
Charlotte, NC United States
$10,479 raised of $40,000 goal
 
159 donations
$29,521 to go
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