Helping Ocracoke Island recover

Published 7:25 pm Monday, August 21, 2017

When disaster strikes, it’s important to remember our neighbors.

Ocracoke Island recently experienced a widespread power outage, forcing thousands of non-residents to evacuate the island. It led to a huge blow in revenue — the evacuation brought tourism to a screeching halt in the height of the summer season. The power outage shut down businesses and left many residents out of work. In the busiest time of year for the island, some residents found themselves without a paycheck for as long as a week.

As the crisis continued, Beaufort County individuals and organizations stepped up to the plate to help.

The Salvation Army Corps of Washington, led by Capt. Bruce Rabon, traveled to Ocracoke earlier this month to attend a community meeting and help provide a hot meal for the residents of Ocracoke Island. The organization is also accepting monetary donations to be delivered to Ocracoke.

The North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church started a “Blackout Relief Fund” — and First United Methodist Church in Washington is accepting monetary donations that will be sent directly to Ocracoke United Methodist Church. It was suggested that the money be used for grocery store gift cards to help Ocracoke residents replenish their food supply.

These are only a couple of examples of the people of Beaufort County striving to help a neighboring county, and it should act as an example for everybody.

It was a crisis felt by the entire island — and created lingering consequences for those who were forced out of work with no income. It’s important to keep neighbors in mind in the face of a crisis, especially one that isn’t quite over. Consider helping out the residents of Ocracoke.