Partnering With A Small North Carolina Church To Offer Support After July Tornado

Senior Warden Paul “Pete” Armstrong and his granddaughter, Betsy, help set up food for distribution to survivors of the tornado. Photo credit: Sarah Rollings

Episcopal Relief & Development Partners With A Small North Carolina Church To Offer Longer Term Support After July Tornado

Web Statement

October 5, 2023

Months after a damaging EF-3 tornado ripped through Dortches, North Carolina, relief is still urgently needed. During the months of August and September, in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church distributed food packages to survivors. Building on this outreach, they are now offering continued support to families as they begin to recover.

During the summer, over 60 volunteers from St. Andrew’s and Good Shepherd Episcopal Church gathered and packaged assorted canned goods, dry goods and non-perishable foods and then delivered them to Dortches Town Hall and other predetermined pickup locations in the affected communities.

“All the attention has gone away from the tornado, and we also thought our food outreach to survivors would be a one-time thing,” said Paul Armstrong, Senior Warden at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Rocky Mount, located only a few miles away from the area of impact. “But what we learned was that there are still things people need,” he added. 

Since the tornado made an impact in July, people are still living in hotel rooms as they wait on home repairs or mobile home replacements. St. Andrew’s has worked with local churches and agencies to identify needs the church can meet. They are now supporting ten families with cash assistance to help them recover.

“This partnership with St. Andrew’s is an example of how churches are uniquely positioned to accompany impacted communities through every stage of a disaster,” said Lura Steele, Program Officer, Episcopal Relief & Development. “St. Andrew’s formed new relationships with other churches and agencies during this response, as well as their neighbors, and that is a huge part of building resilience.”

Donations to the US Disaster Response Fund will support Episcopal Relief & Development and its partners as they provide relief to communities impacted by and recovering from disasters.

For more than 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for close to 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.