LUMBERTON — Robeson County and the city of Lumberton, instead of managing separate sites for the collection and distribution of items to victims of Hurricane Florence, have decided to join hands in that effort.
The county had said it would open its own collection center, but has opted not to.
All items should be taken to a 53,000-square-foot warehouse at 2300 N. Cedar St. that was also used during Hurricane Matthew. Sharon Hunt, who retired this year as an assistant to the city manager, will manage the site as she did during Matthew.
“We are ready, we got the doors open, and we got trucks waiting to come in,” Hunt said on Tuesday.
As the inventory builds, the items will then be trucked to points of distribution, according to Channing Jones, economic development director who is leading the effort for the county.
Here is what is needed: toiletries, including dental supplies; diapers, adult and children; baby formula; wet wipes; new underwear and socks; first aid items; factory sealed medications; cleaning supplies; canned goods; new bed pillows and blankets; box fans; hand sanitzers; water; work gloves, utility and latex; utility knives and related safety work items; flashlights; batteries; trash bags and boxes; general construction tools and equipment.
They should be in original packaging.
On the do-not-want list are used clothing; shoes; toys; books and magazines; games; and perishable items.
Jones said the following sites have already been established as POD’s: St. Paul’s Fire Department, 585 W. McLean St., St. Pauls; Britts Fire Department, 9495 N.C. 72 East, Lumberton; Deep Branch Fire Department, 3129 Deep Branch Road, Lumberton; East Howellsville Fire Department, 1000 Pridgen Road, Lumberton; Queheel Fire Department, 108 E. Rockingham Road, Maxton; Raft Swamp Fire Department, 809 W. N.C. 72, Lumberton; Red Springs Fire Department, 133 N. Main St., Red Springs; Northwoods Fire Department, 344 Sherwood Road, Lumberton; Orrum Fire Department, 102 S. Carolina St., Proctorville; Rowland Fire Department, 401 N. Bond St., Rowland.
Those are the sites also selected for distribution of Meals Ready to Eat as well as water.
Beginning Friday, Lumberton Jr. High School at 82 Marion Road in Lumberton, and United Way of Robeson County at 514 Peterson Drive will also be POD’s. They will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Items can also be dropped off at the POD’s.
Anyone with plans for a large dropoff should call 910-272-5878 to make arrangements.
Jones said the POD’s will be supplied with other items that victims need as inventory at the warehouse builds.
“Right now I can guarantee MRE’s and water,” Jones said, “as it will take a few days to receive the items to be distributed. But as soon as we get those donated items we will get them to the POD’s so that they can be put to use easing the suffering of the people hit hardest by this hurricane.”
Editor Donnie Douglas can be reached at 910-416-5649 or [email protected]