Hurricane Florence

Hygiene After Hurricane Florence

As the end of hurricane season approaches, we look back on our first hurricane of the season: Hurricane Florence. While Florida was spared the wrath of Florence, the same cannot be said for North Carolina. Over 30 inches of rainfall caused flooding and over 500,000 power outages, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate. In this time of need, Clean the World was able to provide some much-needed comfort to the communities affected.

This much-needed comfort came in the form of a hygiene kit. These kits are small bags that contained two bars of soap, body wash, a towelette, toothbrush and toothpaste, an eye mask, and earplugs. With these essential health items, hurricane victims regained some normality and peace of mind. 

So as Hurricane Florence moved into the Carolinas, so did our hygiene kits. Partnering with Eastern Carolina University (ECU), we were able to serve over 20,000 individuals spanning 11 counties in North Carolina. With the help of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, kits were distributed along with more than 50,000 pounds of food, paper products, diapers, cleaning supplies, and water.  

Local police in North Carolina help Eastern Carolina University distribute Clean the World Foundation's hygiene kits to those affected by Hurricane Florence

One of those affected by the hurricane was Byun Serchom, a 34-year-old single mother of three. Two and a half weeks after Florence hit, there was still standing water under Byun’s home. Byun lost almost everything to the disaster. A team of ECU volunteers stepped up and spent a day removing wet siding, floor boards, cabinets, and insulation. Byun said this about her experience:

“I’m not going to lie, we lost a lot. I’ve never experienced anything like this. I don’t have a job to go to. My kids don’t have a school to go to. How are we supposed to handle these things? We lost everything, but we still have God, family, and people like the ECU volunteers by our side. I hope that people realize whatever difficulty they face, they can still find hope.”

Like many others in North Carolina, Byun is on the road to recovering what she lost in the storm. With hundreds still in shelters, life is slowly but surely returning to normal. We are so thankful for all of those who have aided in disaster relief alongside us. Relief can come in different forms, the smallest of which may be a hygiene kit. 

People left homeless by Hurricane Florence receive hygiene kits from Parkview Community and Clean the World Foundation

Throughout this hurricane season, we are proud to have served over 120,000 individuals. These past two months have been nothing short of heartbreaking. But seeing communities and organizations come together to help their neighbors and being able to provide some hope in the wake of disaster is nothing short of amazing. So, thank you to all of our wonderful partners, donors, and thousands of volunteers for making this possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We couldn’t do any of this without you. 

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