The caller sounded weary. “Is this Methodist Home for Children?” she asked. “Can you get a message to my son? He lives at one of your homes. Tell him we’re all alive, but the house is gone. I’m going to a shelter now and will try to charge my phone, you know, in case he can call … ”
The day after Hurricane Matthew swept through North Carolina, those of us at MHC home base in Raleigh gathered field reports and relayed messages like the one from that mother to her son.
We heard stories of chaos and loss —
• As waters started to rise in our Wayne County home, staff and youth had to be quickly evacuated. They were moved to a hotel, then the hotel lost power.
• At our Robeson County home, our staff and youth were given notice to evacuate immediately, leaving all possessions behind.
• In Wake County, the girls in our North Hills home moved out when a tree fell in the backyard. The home was without power for three days.
• The damage went beyond our group homes. Several of our foster families called from around the state. Their homes had flooded; the future uncertain.
But we also heard good news —
• Under the leadership of our staff, all youth in our care remained safe.
• Our home in Robeson County was miraculously undamaged. Once power was restored, the house became a haven for staff and families who needed hot meals and showers.
Many of the families we serve struggle under normal circumstances, so flooding and displacement, lost work, and ruined possessions are devastating. We are trying to help the young people and families who were affected.
Thank you to each of you who prayed, called, and championed our efforts during these past two weeks. With God’s help and your support, we will continue to provide shelter and care during this challenging time.