When Hurricane Florence brought devastation to the Carolinas in September, one of our dear friends, Sue Carter, who had recently relocated from Grand Island to the area to be with her son, was personally affected by the tragedy. She reached out us, to Mary Ehde from the Moose Lodge and to the Veronica Connor Middle School, where she was an administrative assistant for many years before retiring from the GI Central School District last year. Sue works part time in the lunch room at Mary C Williams Elementary School in Wilmington and she was so heartbroken by the conditions there, even before the hurricane. The students, many of whom come from poor backgrounds, are very responsible, respectful and kind, all values shared by Grand Island students.
Mary worked with the Women of the Moose Lodge on GI to collect many donations of clothing and school supplies to send to North Carolina in October. We sent the first set of boxes to Sue and her colleagues and it was well received.
Then, in early November, the students from Mary Jane Fonte’s Family and Consumer Science (FACS) class stepped up and collected money and clothing to donate to this worthy cause.
Here is a heartfelt excerpt from Mary Jane Fonte, one of the amazing teachers (and Middle School DECA advisor) about this experience:
Autumn brought almost daily wind and rain to Grand Island, but nothing like the children of Wilmington, North
Carolina had to face during Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Thus, when GI Retiree Sue Carter, who
relocated to Wilmington, brought the devastation of Mary C. Williams Elementary School to our attention, the
staff and students of Veronica E. Connor Middle School responded to her plea. At Carter’s suggestion, gently
used clothing was solicited and dropped off to Student Services by families, creating mountains of hope and
love. Sale of pizza, beverages and desserts at Open House by JV DECA and Student Services started the
funding for shipping of the donations. Fahim Mojawalla of the Island Ship Center graciously offered to ship at [discounted] cost to the hurricane stricken area. Pictured with Fahim are the Managers and Controllers of the Family and Consumer Science Entrepreneurs who generously donated their profits from sale of cookie pizza, dirt cups
and Oreo truffles to add to the postage fund. “No man is an island; no man stands alone”…not when others are in
After receiving the second shipment of donations, Sue Carter sent us an email, which made us joyous and forget any woes that we think we might have:
Thank you for all of your hard work and getting this wrapped up. I am so excited. My boss and I will probably go in on Saturday and sort everything. The kids and their families will be so excited. I went to our local Food Lion grocery store to talk to the manager. He gave me 100 unused bags for filling. We are going to lay the items out by size and gender and invite the parents to come in to our free garage sale. They will be able to take what they need for their families, and anything left over or larger in size, will be donated to the local middle school.