The island-wide effort to rebuild Ocracoke received some extra assistance from the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men (CHUMM) for three weeks in February, thanks to the help of dozens of volunteers.
CHUMM worked for the North Carolina Conference United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) from their Ocracoke Island Work Center. During the three weeks, more than 60 volunteers participated, including Methodist Men teams from the Cape Hatteras area, Rodanthe, Kitty Hawk, Duck, and Elizabeth City. They were joined by other volunteers from North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee. The work focused on rebuilding the interiors of flooded homes so that owners can move back in, months after Dorian made landfall in September.
According to Dennis Carroll, Director of the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, “What started as a very modest effort to help our neighbors, and fill a gap, exceeded our expectations. The number of volunteers grew as did the results, despite the weather and logistical challenges. The welcome reception and gratitude of the Ocracoke people was heartwarming. We also thank the homeowners who have let our volunteers, as well as displaced residents, stay in their homes. The continuing need is great since many families and individuals are still displaced.”
UMCOR is making every effort to either get families back in their homes or provide temporary travel trailers for some residents, as the current temporary rental homes become unavailable during tourist season.
Organized teams and individuals wishing to help may get more information about Ocracoke Island initiatives, as well as other locations, by calling the UMCOR Call Center at 888-440-9167.