Columbia church members head to North Carolina to assist with hurricane relief efforts
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Members from St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church packed their bags Sunday afternoon to head over to New Bern, North Carolina to assist with hurricane relief efforts.
Ten members left Columbia with four packed trucks and a trailer with disaster relief items to help with a week’s worth of work.
“We just have a community that is about serving people and as a church, we believe we are the hands and feet of Christ in the world and it’s our opportunity to live that out and serve,” Father Mitchell Smith at St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church said.
A family from the New Bern area contacted Smith and asked for a place to stay during the hurricane. After the devastation, some parts of New Bern faced, they decided it was their calling to help those in need.
“As a church, we believe we are the hands and feet of Christ in the world and it’s our opportunity to live that out and serve,” Smith said.
The team plans to be there for a week; where they’ll be gutting houses, helping remove personal property, taking out sheetrock, treat for mold to help get homes back to its normal state.
“As far as I know, the first things we are going to be doing are gutting houses, taking houses down from the studs that water has gone into them and then come back out and so now it’s time to take out the drywall and take out the tile and that sort of thing,” Smith said.
The trailer the team is bringing is stocked with supplies and made specifically for response to emergencies.
Sally Peek, a church member going on the trip said, “We are ready for the challenge, we’re prepared to help out however we need to.”
St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields has helped out in years past during devastating times.
In 2017, they went to Jacksonville, FL to help remove trees after Hurricane Irma.
Bob Bell, a church member going on the trip said, “It’s very rewarding but it’s also very difficult to go into somebodies home and deal with their personal possessions. It’s a hard thing to do, it’s a very emotional thing to do for the people being helped but we feel that’s just our mission.”
This is the first deployment for this year, but Smith says they plan to do more work in the future, and anticipate to go wherever help is needed. More members of the church are planning to head to New Bern later in the week.
Roughly fifteen total members will help in New Bern and will come home on Friday.
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