Our View: Americans step up in times of tragedy


Rocky Mount Telegram

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey in East Texas and Louisiana has spurred a groundswell of donations and support from Americans across the country.

Red Cross volunteers, mission groups and other organizations and individuals have stepped up to provide much-needed recovery assistance and relief supplies. 

People across the country have generously donated millions of dollars to aid in the relief and recovery efforts, while thousands of relief drives have been launched to collect supplies that are desperately needed by the displaced victims.

Here in the Twin Counties, several relief drives already are underway. 

Six-year-old Ayden Tillery will be in the old Kmart parking lot starting at 2 p.m. today, collecting storm-relief supplies in an effort dubbed “Ayden’s Express to Texas.” The United Martial Arts Academy has teamed up with other local karate schools and businesses to organize a “Hurricane Harvey Donation Drop Off” site in the academy’s parking lot in the Crossroad Plaza on Sunset Avenue.

Among the items most needed are bottled water, canned food, dry food, clothing, shoes, toiletries, diapers, baby wipes and pet supplies. While the need for such supplies is crucial, philanthropy experts say the best way to help the victims of a natural disaster is donating money to established relief organizations directly through their websites.

Eastern North Carolina has benefited time and again from the generosity of our fellow Americans during the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricane Floyd and Hurricane Matthew. In addition to the swift response from federal and state emergency management agencies,  private relief organizations and thousands of individuals provided the needed money, supplies, manpower and other resources to help the area recover from the damages inflicted by Mother Nature.

The same holds true for the current situation in Texas. While the recovery from Harvey will be long and expensive, the initial outpouring of help has been a testament to the American spirit of giving. Despite the deep political divisions that have continued to pit so many of us against each other, all thought of partisanship and ideology once again quickly and rightly fell by the wayside in the face of the heartbreaking suffering and loss that was inflicted on our fellow citizens.