Lehigh Acres Church of the Nazarene received assistance from strangers after Hurricane Irma — some of them from North and South Carolina. When Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017, the church suffered damages to its office and the building where its chapel is located.
“I mean, they helped put our roof on in this building and that building," Kasey Moore said, church secretary. "I mean they helped so much just around here and around the community, so we’re just so happy to help in any way we can.”
After Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas, the church is helping and giving back to those affected by the natural disaster.
Moore said that once they heard that the people in the Carolinas were affected, "there was no hesitation, no anything," Moore said. "We’re like, ‘let’s return the favor."
The Sunday school superintendent, Margaret Mc Farlane said that Hurricane Irma destroyed her shed, but she was not alone when it was time to start rebuilding it.
“We heard this group from North Carolina came to help us and they offered to come put it up for us," said Mc Farlane. “That was a blessing in disguise, it was a really, really, really good blessing.”
This time around, Mc Farlane and her church wanted to return the favor.
“Now we are collecting all the stuff we can," Mc Farlane said, "and getting the community involved and all that."
The church has collected a variety of donations — from food and water to toilet paper and pet food.
"I’ve been in the people’s shoes with Irma here last year," Kimberly Jacobs said, who is an active church member. “So it’s time for us to pay it forward and help those impacted by Florence."
During a state of emergency , children may become flustered and scared with everything that is happening around them. This is why the church is even collecting items for the kids.
“You know some things to help keep them entertained a little bit on the smaller side, cuz' I know they don’t have power," Jacobs said. "It’s kinda hard to entertain them sometimes."
If you would like to help the victims of Hurricane Florence, Lehigh Acres Church of the Nazarene is accepting drop off donations, which can be dropped off until Oct. 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Members of the church will leave on Oct. 13 to head to the Carolinas to drop off the donations gathered for the victims of Hurricane Florence. If you call ahead, the church can be flexible outside of those hours.
“That’s what we’re here to do; we’re here to help people," said Moore. “And if you’re not helping somebody, to me personally, you’re not doing a whole lot.”