It’s hard to believe that over a month has already passed since Hurricane Florence dropped a seemingly endless supply of rain onto eastern North Carolina.
We reflect back on the Indigenous led relief efforts out of Lumberton, NC. An effort we have been fortunate enough to be a part of.
What follows is just a snapshot. The friendships formed and the sense of possibility birthed defies quantification, but we want to give a picture of the magnitude of what people have done in the area post-Florence.
Since the passing of the storm, in addition to rescuing nearly 75 people from flood water, we have given out over 100,000 lbs of supplies directly to the community and Migrant farm workers throughout Robeson and nearby counties, passed out harm reduction kits, tarped 10 homes, repaired 3 roofs and a floor along with electrical wiring and an entry door. We have and continue to do mold remediation work in multiple homes. And we now have a rented warehouse space to set up a food bank and supply distribution hub and have sent supplies in solidarity to communities impacted by Hurricane Michael in Florida.
We currently have 3 houses that are waiting for us to start the repairs on right away.
The Lumbee have a proud and rich history of fighting off the Klan and taking care of each other. Recent relief efforts are the latest manifestation of their fighting spirit and dedication to a better world.
What do these words have in common?
- They’re not single events, they are emergent processes
- They are currently happening
- We are all in the middle of it
Many worlds have ended. This is where the difference between world and earth are useful. Many worlds have ended. And ours will too.
Supplies and monetary donations have slowed down in Lumberton. We believe this can be attributed to media fatigue and everyone moving on, but it’s important to remember that relief efforts take time, rebuilding lives takes time and the need is still very great.
We’ve had to move out of our original distro warehouse, well… that move is happening now, that is. The good news is that we have a new permanent location for relief and community organizing. The bad news is we’re down to a skeleton crew of 3-6 people at any given point while trying to move a whole warehouse on little resources.
We have multiple critical projects we are working on, involving gutting flood damaged houses for families and making the necessary repairs. This is both costly and demands more bodies than we have. People cannot live in mold infested homes. There are children and elders and people with compromised immune systems.
All that being said, we need:
– volunteers, bodies, workers, with any or no skills (we’ll find work for you to do, there is plenty), but especially people with any background relevant to repairing these homes.
– food, water, cleaning & building supplies, baby supplies, etc.
– funds, to go toward these projects, keeping the lights on, keeping it all moving
– if more convenient, we’ve had folks send lowe’s & wal-mart gift cards, as well as cards for local grocery stores; food lion and aldi.
Those can be mailed to: 102 N Cedar St. Lumberton, NC 28358
The legendary Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, once said “A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.”
We are building power while the lights are out, a power from the inside, outward and from the bottom upward. And we are following our visions through the deepest blue of the day and all the darkness that surrounds us at night. In moments of tragedy, our hope rests in each other. We know that with any disaster, there will always be flowers growing up from the rubble and ruin.
We invite you to join us.