Richmond County scouts, students aid in Hurricane Harvey relief

By: Staff reports

An antique bed and 50,000 pennies from Richmond County will help soothe some of the damage wreaked by Hurricane Harvey.

In separate campaigns, Scouts sponsored by Ellerbe’s First United Methodist Church have mustered donated furniture and housewares for a family seeking medical care. And students from the Richmond County Ninth-Grade Academy and L.J. Bell Elementary School have donated more than $800 in cash and school supplies to an adopted classroom in Houston.

“She looked like she’d been crying for weeks,” Charleen Wallace says of her first encounter with a woman whose family fled Texas because the woman needed medical care. “I just put 2 and 2 together and asked if she was a victim of the hurricane.”

The hospitals at home had flooded or blown away, the woman told Wallace, so she called a friend in Cheraw, South Carolina. The friend drove two days to pick up the woman’s family of five, who packed five days worth of clothing and left everything else behind, including relatives crowding the one family home left standing.

Wallace said Wednesday that she met the woman through her husband, Mike’s, business.

Since that initial meeting, the Scouts and church members have found a house by word of mouth. The building had structural problems, which the Texas family repaired.

The family’s three children have started school, and the family has acquired a puppy, which they were told would help their younger, special-needs son adapt.

And donors have provided lamps, dinnerware and furniture — all but a couple of twin mattress sets. Charleen Wallace donated her mother’s 90-year-old bed, which she had pulled out of storage.

The family spent the first night in their house Monday, a break from weeks of sleeping on other people’s floors.

“The home is a blessing,” Wallace said. “Initially, it had its problems, but I believe they will make it a very nice home.

“All the grief and aggravation, and the sorrow and the angst … really have been allayed.”

In the second post-Harvey drive, students adopted a Spanish 3 and 4 class at C.E. King High School in Houston.

Children at L.J. Bell collected $553 in pennies; their counterparts at the Ninth-Grade Academy raised money for school supplies.

The Houston students don’t have a permanent space anymore. Instead, they “float” among five classrooms at a nearby elementary school, as one of the last groups of students to resume their studies after the hurricane.

“But we are making it work,” Spanish teacher Javiel Gonzalez said in a thank-you note to the Ninth-Grade Academy. The students are expected to return to their own school in January.

Staff reports

Those who might wish to help the Scouts of Ellerbe’s First United Methodist Church furnish a home for a family who fled Texas after Hurricane Harvey may call Charleen or Mike Wallace at 910-571-2199.

The Daily Journal wishes to publish a list of other local humanitarian efforts in the wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Please send information about your church’s or organization’s efforts — including information on how to donate — to