Hundreds Helped and Businesses Rallied through Carteret Warriors for Recovery
The story of Hurricane Florence’s historic devastation is familiar to most who live in any hurricane-prone region of the United States. But there is another story to tell of the unprecedented level of support in the storm’s aftermath. Regulator Marine in Edenton, North Carolina getting the ball rolling among fellow companies to aid the shell-shocked community of their dealer in Morehead City, Starling Marine.
After enduring hurricane force winds for an unprecedented 40-plus hours and nearly 3-feet of consuming rain, Florence rescue and recovery efforts began as soon as it was safe to venture outside. Starling Marine’s new boat showroom in Morehead City suffered damage but had enough dry cover to act as a base of operations for volunteers to mobilize and coordinate relief efforts from bottled water and meal provisions to strong arms and chainsaws. Clans of volunteers rendezvoused at Starling’s location to coordinate helping those in need of tree removal, tarps on roofs and curbing water-logged mattresses and furniture.
Marian Tucker and Brenda Rocci are two members of the community that looked beyond the clean-up and recognized the wide-spread need for affected families to regain some sense of normalcy. After their initial grass-roots efforts to round up basic supplies, clothing and everyday necessities – and so many with little to no insurance or time to wait on federal assistance – they saw an even greater need for larger items to replace furnishings and appliances lost in the storm. And herein lies the formation of Carteret Warriors for Recovery (CW4R). This newly-registered non-profit organization runs on 100% volunteered time from the board members and others in the community. Since September 25, 2018, CW4R has helped over 300 families in 6 counties and a dozen other local non-profit organizations.
Tucker and Rocci’s first order of business in establishing CW4R was to establish its volunteer board of directors. Starling Marine’s own Holly Starling joined Jennifer Melton and Megan Johnson on the board and have since helped them to develop a network of businesses and volunteers to organize fundraisers and distribution programs. In checking in with the Starlings after the storm, Regulator’s owners Joan & Owen Maxwell learned of CW4R’s outreach and need for bigger ticket items. Known for their generosity, the Maxwells decided that their 2018 Regulator dealer meeting fundraiser would benefit CW4R. At this annual Regulator event, a casino night is held as part of the festivities, with the total play-money amount won by their global sales teams in attendance used as the real dollar figure to be donated to a charitable organization.
Rounding up to a nice even number from their company fundraiser, Regulator’s check to CW4R was written for $10,000! This amazing donation was compounded by the incredible generosity of Carteret County business, America’s Mattress. Through deep discounts, Regulator’s $10,000 donation was able to purchase 86 Simmons Beautyrest mattresses in varying sizes. CW4R, in a single day, was able to clear their long waiting list for mattresses thanks to businesses rallying together.
Carteret Warriors for Recovery’s efforts to provide support throughout Southeastern North Carolina continue to this day on a large scale. Recent winter storms have brought cold weather, torrential rains and even tornados to this area still struggling to maintain the status quo since Florence.
CW4R continues to team up with other organizations for donations of goods and volunteers and is actively seeking additional partners to provide new or pre-owned appliances, furniture and other household goods. The arrival of winter has also called for a big push to collect and distribute winter coats and blankets to those in need. Some experts have projected that a full recovery for coastal North Carolina could take 3-5 years. Organizations like CW4R have accepted that challenge and are working tirelessly supporting their neighboring communities.
For more information on how to partner with Carteret Warriors for Recovery, please visit their website at www.cw4r.org or contact Holly Starling at 910-599-8635. This non-profit is seeking financial support to purchase goods that are most needed for those still recovering in the community.