Please be in prayer for Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina (BCH). As is the case with others who were in the path of Hurricane Matthew, several of BCH's statewide locations have been hit hard by this devastating storm.
The good news is all the children and families we serve are safe. However, as a result of the storm's impact, some of the residents and staff were evacuated.
We will need work volunteers once the damage has been assessed as well as immediate financial support. See the information at the end of the email if you can help.
Here is what we know at this time:
- Kennedy Home, BCH's eastern area campus in Kinston, has been evacuated due to power outage (lasting for as long as 10 days) and wind-driven rain resulting in fallen trees and high water levels. The potential for more damage is high. Flooding is expected later this week as the rivers and creeks continue to rise. Water has already entered some of the buildings on campus. It is predicted that all of Kennedy Home's buildings will have water inside them by the end of the week.
Accompanied by their houseparents and staff, the boys, girls and mothers have been relocated to BCH's Mills Home campus in Thomasville where they will be for the foreseeable future. The staff have rallied and the children are holding up very well. Damage, which is expected to be substantial, will be assessed once the water recedes.
UPDATE OCT. 19, 2016: No further damage occurred despite the cresting of the Neuse River on Friday, October 14. A portion of the campus was able to safely reopen and Kennedy Home's residents and staff returned home on Sunday afternoon, October 16. The other part of campus sustained significant damage. Water entered several buildings and the sprinkler system in one children's cottage failed causing more damage. All perishable food was lost due to the power outage. The full extent of Kennedy Home's damage is being assessed.
- Odum Home in Pembroke evacuated this past weekend gathering at the local high school gymnasium due to wind-driven rain causing fallen trees, power outages and high water levels. Conditions have improved and the residents and staff have returned to campus. They have generator power at the Odum Home gym, but it is unknown when power will be restored to the residential cottages and offices. The children are doing well and staff are using grills to cook meals.
- Cameron Boys Camp and Camp Duncan for Girls, BCH's residential wilderness camps in Moore County, both experienced power outages and fallen trees. The campers spent two nights indoors and have returned to their campsites. Power at both camps is now back on. There does not appear to be substantial damage but conditions will be assessed in the coming days.
- Three of BCH's Family Care homes, Oak Ranch near Sanford, Britton Ministries in Ahoskie and Smith Home in Marston, all lost power power this weekend. However, the mothers and their children are doing well and there does not appear to be any damage. As with the camps, things will be assessed further in the days ahead.
Please help! The need for funding and volunteers to help with clean-up is vital. If you or your group wish to assist with clean-up, please contact BCH's Sam Barefoot at 336-474-1278 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can help immediately by giving to BCH's Hurricane Relief Fund. Visit www.bchfamily.org/givenow and choose "Hurricane Relief" to make a donation.
For more information about giving to help, contact Brenda Gray at 336-474-1230 or email@example.com
Images from Kennedy Home in Kinston