Local News

Family displaced by Chapel Hill flood gets assistance from Raleigh nonprofit

Posted July 12, 2013

— Life changed for the Martinez family on June 30.

That Sunday, 4.66 inches of rain fell within several hours, flood waters poured into their Carrboro mobile home. They lost all of their furniture and were forced to leave their home, which was later condemned.

Since then, the Martinez's and dozens of other families forced out by the high waters have started the painstaking work of getting their lives back to normal. On Friday, with the help of the Red Cross, Heidy Martinez and her family took a big step forward when they picked out new furniture at The Green Chair Project on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh.

A nonprofit furnishings assistance center, The Green Chair Project is a place where people can buy used furniture donated by people who no longer need it. Martinez visited the store Friday to pick out the items that will help her family start over. 

Despite the tragedy, Friday's shopping trip was filled with joy. 

"I'm so happy," she said. 

Jackie Craig, a co-founder of the Green Chair Project, said the nonprofit aims to help any families who are in need of furniture – whether they were impacted by flood waters or not.

“For any of us to encounter disaster like that, it would mean, 'Do we have a few thousand dollars in our back pocket to go out and get all new furniture, a new place to live?’ Probably not,” Craig said. "It is rare that a family we're helping is not in tears when they're leaving. It is really the icing on the cake to their recovery."

Green Chair Project organizers said there are at least 45 other families who need to refurnish their homes due to the Orange County flooding. County officials are also still busy helping the 150 people who were displaced by the flood waters.

A disaster assistance office opened Saturday at University Mall on Estes Drive, and Orange County officials have been working to help find affordable rental units for those who were forced from Camelot Village and other apartments and townhouses in the Estes Drive area.

The Green Chair Project will hold a household furnishings donation drive July 20 to secure more supplies for the hundreds impacted by Chapel Hill’s flooding. The event will be held at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, at 940 Carmichael St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Green Chair Project will also accept donations at the same time at its location in Raleigh, at 1853 Capital Blvd.

Needed items:

  • Dressers
  • Bed frames and headboards (No mattresses)
  • Couches, love-seats (No sleeper sofas, futons, upholstery in need of repair, products with pet damage, signs of pests or other infestation)
  • Recliners, side chairs, ottomans
  • Dining tables and chairs
  • Kitchenware: Pots, pans, utensils, dishes, glasses, baking & serving pieces (especially sauce pans, skillets, can openers, vegetable peelers, whisks, cookie sheets, and muffin tins),
  • Microwaves and small appliances (toasters, coffee makers, blenders, etc.) in working condition
  • Bookcases
  • Side and coffee tables and occasional pieces
  • Table and floor lamps (light bulbs and extension cords appreciated too.)
  • Linens: Sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and mattress pads in good condition (please wash prior to donating)
  • Towels, washcloths, Shower curtains, rings and liners, tablecloths, placemats, cloth napkins (please wash prior to donating)
  • Home accessories: Artwork, mirrors, throw pillows, decorative accessories
  • Cleaning supplies, vacuum cleaners, Swiffers, mops, brooms, buckets and indoor trash cans
  • Televisions

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  • whatelseisnew Jul 12, 2013

    These folks might also spend some time on Craigslist, where very often you can get stuff for free and often it is decent stuff. They might have to go to the library for computer access, but it would be worth the effort. I have a couple of items I can drop off, nothing fancy, but it is in good shape and certainly is much better than nothing.

  • hollylama Jul 12, 2013

    I have a whole lot of stuff to donate but drive a coupe. Do they do pick-up? Anyone with a pick-up willing to make a drop-off?