BRUNSWICK COUNTY – After an unexpected and deadly tornado tore through part of Ocean Isle Beach late Monday night, the long road to recovery is just beginning. At least 60 homes were damaged in the storm, with several completely wiped out.
The community is coming together to cater to first responders, extend extra sets of hands and ease the financial burden on those residents impacted. County officials have spoken in recent days of the overwhelming response from organizations and businesses reaching out to help.
Below are a few easy ways to assist.
The Ocean Ridge Plantation Master Association is running a GoFundMe to raise money for its neighbors affected by the storm. The community board of directors is distributing the donations.
The association is one of the entities working closest with Brunswick County Emergency Services on damage assessments and recovery plans.
A message on the GoFundMe states, “These are very difficult and sad times for our community, and the community needs time to assess personal situations, so that plans for moving forward in the best possible way can occur. We are asking for privacy about details of those impacted, but welcome the charitable nature of others, as there will be a good amount of need for our neighbors.”
As of Friday morning the page has exceeded its original $25,000 goal with $30,160 raised. Organizers are now aiming to reach $45,000.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is on the ground supporting tornado survivors with sheltering and feeding, providing supplies and assessing damages.
Volunteers are posted at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, located at 5869 Ocean Hwy W in Ocean Isle Beach.
The Red Cross’ help varies from replacing medications and eyeglasses to offering emotional support. Volunteers specialize in health, mental health and spiritual care.
Donate by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10.
Donate gift cards
Pelican’s Perch Bar & Grill is accepting gift cards and baby items at its restaurant through the weekend. The business has vowed to get all contributions into the hands of families in need.
Recommended gifts cards include Food lion, Walmart, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Visa. Gift certificates to local businesses are also encouraged.
Drop off is between 11:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. at 8 E. 2nd St. in Ocean Isle Beach.
To supply a gift card easily, without having to leave your home, First Baptist Church of Shallotte has an online Disaster Relief Fund.
Using money from the fund, the church plans to purchase and deliver Lowe’s Home Improvement and Home Depot gift cards to families. Any leftover donations will be saved for future disaster response.
Beach Happy Market, located at 7112 Beach Drive in Ocean Isle Beach, is also welcoming gift cards “from anywhere for any amount.” The market will work with Ocean Ridge Plantation to have the cards delivered to 53 families most affected.
Brunswick County is no longer in need of donations, according to a press release.
“Brunswick County extends its gratitude to the several residents, churches, and businesses who have offered their support to our emergency teams through donations of meals and debris/clean-up supplies this week,” according to the statement.
Have a nonprofit you want to add to the list? Email Alex Sands at email@example.com.