National Guard delivers relief to impoverished Robeson community

Posted September 24, 2018 6:46 p.m. EDT

— After Hurricane Florence hammered their community, Red Springs residents came together to get through the initial impact, but on Monday, the North Carolina National Guard brought in reinforcements.

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A convoy of National Guard trucks loaded with food, bottled water and other supplies trekked 30 minutes up N.C. Highway 211 from a base in Lumberton to the Red Springs Community Center, delivering relief to the impoverished community.

Town Commissioner Caroline Sumpter was in charge of helping to distribute the goods to those in need.

"[We're] cooking meals, taking supplies to our elderly, our seniors, our disabled, just checking on our neighbors, being good neighbors, being our brothers' and sisters' keepers," Sumpter said.

Many people in Red Springs were without power for about a week, and Sumpter said the National Guard was only the latest group to help those in need.

"We have former military, civic groups, sororities, fraternities that have come to lend a helping hand," she said. "Teachers, students, churches, clergymen – all backgrounds, all ethnicities have come together, all to kind of lean on each other."

Katasha Oxendine, assistant principal at Red Springs High School, said the same spirit filled the town after Hurricane Matthew hit two years ago.

"It's happening all over again, and that's what it needs to be," Oxendine said. "It's awesome. Everybody is coming together. It doesn't matter what race, nationality you are. Everybody is working together to help everybody. That makes my heart smile."

By Monday afternoon, more than 300 hot meals had been served at the community center.