LUMBERTON — Free over-the-counter medications for such ailments as the common cold and headaches will be given away on Friday at Chestnut Street United Methodist Church in Lumberton.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, which is at 200 E. Eighth St. in Lumberton. Identification is not required. The event, which is being staged by NC MedAssist, is funded through a grant by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and is open to any individual or family needing over-the-counter medication.
“However, you must be 18 years old or over to select the medications,” said Kristin Young, Foundations and Communications director for NC MedAssist. “Children’s medications will be available, but a parent or guardian must make their selections.”
The giveaway targets people who may have been affected by Hurricane Matthew and related flooding. Each individual will receive $100 worth of over-the-counter products. Prescription medicine will not be distributed.
While the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust provided money for staging the event, the medications were donated by Second Harvest Food Bank of the Metrolina.
“Items that you could regularly pick up at your neighborhood CVS or Walgreens,” Young said.
Lumberton was chosen because NC MedAssist leaders knew the city and Robeson County were hit hard by Hurricane Matthew.
“Our organization is looking to fill the medicine cabinets of area individuals, because we understand that people do choose between purchasing food or their needed medication,” Young said. “We wanted to fill that gap to make sure people attending this event had access to simple medicine cabinet staples such as Tylenol and Band-Aids.”
Giveaways are also planned for March 4 in New Hanover County and March 25 in Greenville.
NC MedAssist has collaborated with Southeastern Regional Medical Center, the Robeson County Church and Community Center, the Public Schools of Robeson County, Robeson Community College’s Nursing Program, the Robeson County Health Department, and the Robeson County Department of Social Services to recruit volunteers.
“The Lumberton community was devastated by Hurricane Matthew and the rising floodwaters associated with the storm,” said Lori Giang, executive director of NC MedAssist. “NC MedAssist wants to help rebuild and heal the community by providing free over-the-counter medications to families and individuals that may have lost everything due to flooding. We know that access to medicine cabinet staples such as cold medicine and Tylenol can help people manage their health during this difficult time.”
Last fiscal year, NC MedAssist distributed more than $1.9 million of donated over-the-counter medication to North Carolina individuals and clinics. This fiscal year, the organization plans to distribute more than $2 million.
Founded in 1997, NC MedAssist is a statewide nonprofit pharmacy that provides free prescription medicines to low-income, uninsured North Carolina residents. For information on the giveaway program and NC MedAssist, visit www.medassist.org.
Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974.