COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - On Wednesday, WIS held a phone bank to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Irma and First Lady of the State Peggy McMaster, assisted in answering phones and collecting donations.
Mrs. McMaster sat down with Dawndy Mercer Plank to talk about her concern for the people of South Carolina when forecasters said Irma was
headed this way. As the wife of our governor, she saw her husband leave early in the morning and return late at night with his priority of the days - since late last week - being to decide the best course for South Carolinians.
"You throw a problem at him and he's got the answer, or at least he knows where to go to get the answer. He really has been all on board with that. Every now and then he could go back to the office at the State House and do something, but it was pretty much all day long. And then at one point, he had some conference calls in the mansion. We had to set up a special telephone," Peggy McMaster said.
Mrs. McMaster said to have a part in relief efforts, she was happy to help on the phone lines. But what she'd really like to do next is put on old clothes and help with cleanup.
During this latest difficult time in our state, Mrs. McMaster found herself filled with pride and is touched by the intense care shown from the top level down.
"Everybody knows that South Carolina is friendly and caring but it really comes to light during this," she said.
"Makes you proud of your state?" Dawndy asked.
"Oh man, proud of Henry. Just because he's so personal. It's not for show," Peggy McMaster said.
Mrs. McMaster said she and the governor originally were to be in Frankfurt, Germany for a car show event for the South Carolina Department of Commerce - something she said they knew they had to put on the back burner knowing that Irma was coming.
She said the other night when the governor returned home after a long day of working on the plan for our state and protecting its people, she was overcome with emotion when he told her of a family who decided to make this state their home because of the warm welcome.
"They finally got to Columbia to a shelter and with their two children and they had to borrow the money to get the truck. They really are not a wealthy family. They are at the shelter and they told Henry that they think they're just going to stay in Columbia because everyone was so helpful. So that changed the family right there," Mrs. McMaster said.
Working the phone bank was a way for Mrs. McMaster and the other volunteers to feel they're doing something when there are so many people who desperately need help because they have lost so much.