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Restaurant Industry, Others Help with Hurricane Floyd Relief Efforts

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CARY — Governor Jim Huntis appealing to Capitol Hill on behalf of Hurricane Floyd flood victims. Hunt is in Washington meeting with North Carolina's congressional delegation and other leaders in Congress to ask for more federal aid.

"We must have immense help to make this happen," Hunt told lawmakers. "We got good help when Fran came through before. This is a worse disaster than Fran in many, many ways and I am very proud that this delegation today, republicans and democrats, have pledged, to a person, that they will do everything they can to get us these funds. And we must get them before this session ends."

The damage done by Floyd's floods appears likely to surpass the $6 billion in destruction caused by Hurricane Fran.

Back at home, state employees are reaching out to the victims of Hurricane Floyd.

TheDepartment of Commercecollected goods Thursday, outside the Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.

A tractor-trailer was donated by Longistics trucking company, in cooperation with the North Carolina Trucking Association.

Participants say they are glad to help out their neighbors.

"We just feel very fortunate here that we escaped the brunt of the hurricane this time," said state employee Mac Epps. "And we feel a great need to help our -- literally, our brothers and sisters down in the eastern part of the state. So we want to do all we can to in some small way alleviate their suffering."

At Durham'sNorth Carolina Central University, student leaders, Greek organizations and administrators are sponsoring their own Floyd relief effort.

Organizers want to fill a tractor-trailer with 3,000 gallons of water, and non-perishable food.

And football fans can help out flood victims by going to theUNC-FSU game this weekend.

Non-perishable items will be collected at gates 2 and 6 atKenan Stadium, the gates behind the 50-yard lines on the north and south sides of the building.

Volunteers will also be collecting money.

Many of the 19,000 restaurants across the state will donate at least 10 percent of their Sunday sales to help families left homeless by the storm.

The Gypsy Diner in Cary is just one of the restaurants participating. But instead of giving a percentage away, the restaurant is donating money from every meal they sell.

"They need help, so one day for me, I feel, is nothing for me to do, compared to what they're going through," says owner Gypsy Gilliam.

Gilliam has family and friends in the eastern part of the state and has seen the damage firsthand. "I know what's going on," she says. "I have two brothers and a sister that live there. It is absolutely devastating."

"It's going to take help from not just the restaurant industry, but every industry, and all the people in North Carolina, to help citizens come back and help make them whole again," says T. Jerry Williams, president of theNorth Carolina Restaurant Association.

Restaurants will have a sign posted to let patrons know they are participating in the relief effort.

Children at one Cary daycare center are also getting a lesson in caring. The center has decided to talk to its kids about the needs of flood victims down east.

"You have to teach them. They learn what they're taught, and by teaching them to care about other people, they also care about themselves and care about what's happening around them," says Danielle Murray.

The Children's Discovery Center is also making it convenient for parents to drop off donations for flood victims when they drop off their children in the morning.

Other small businesses have set up drop-off sites as well.

If you want to find the drop-off site nearest you, call the state's Donation Management Center at (888) 786-7601.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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