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Grant aids damage leftover from Hurricane Matthew

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina (RMHC of NC) has selected Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) as the recipient of one of its five spring grants. On Wednesday, August 22, RMHC of NC board members presented a $20,000 check to BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell and staff members at Kennedy Home in Kinston.

The grant will go toward the rewiring of Kennedy Home, which was severely damaged during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Despite new losses from Hurricane Florence, Kennedy Home has still been addressing issues leftover from Hurricane Matthew two years earlier.

“As the local McDonald’s owner/operator in Eastern North Carolina, I have seen the incredible work Baptist Children’s Homes has done to support children in this area,” said RMHC of NC board member Wade Dixon. His wife Dana currently serves on BCH’s Board of Trustees. “Their dedication to the community was so inspiring to the board, making them an obvious choice for this grant.”

Like the rest of Eastern North Carolina, the Kennedy Home campus was greatly impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Because of severe flooding and a lightning strike, the campus’s electrical infrastructure desperately needs replacing.

“After suffering so much damage from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and then being struck by lightning this past year, this money will go a long way to help us continue to serve children in this community,” Blackwell said. “We are so grateful to have been chosen as recipients of this year’s spring grant.”

It has taken the better part of two years since the storm struck for Kennedy Home to recover. Many of the buildings received water damage including children’s cottages, historic Cedar Dell manor, and the campus food locker.

The rewiring efforts will help the entire campus including the children’s cottages.

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