Campbell staff, faculty, students form Hurricane Florence relief task force

In response to Hurricane Florence — the slow-moving storm that dumped record amounts of rain on the Carolinas and was responsible for the deaths of at least 42 people — Campbell University officials, professors, staff members and students met on Friday to form a task force to provide relief to nearby areas hit hardest by flooding.

Headed by Associate Vice President for Spiritual Life and Campus Minister Faithe Beam, the 20-member task force’s initial meeting focused on areas of need, potential partnerships with local and state organizations and assets and professional resources at Campbell that can assist in the relief efforts.

“It’s important that we come together now and combine our resources to see how we can make an impact,” Beam said Friday. “After the storm, I received numerous emails and requests from people in our community asking how we can help, and those are good and right questions to ask.”

While the group is not yet ready to announce the areas Campbell’s efforts will focus on first, it focused Friday on communities hit hard by Florence that aren’t necessarily getting the same attention as some coastal cities or larger cities inland that have been in the news. Several nearby communities — homes, roads, businesses and farmland — received considerable damage from flooding of the Cape Fear and Little rivers. Those rivers crested on Sunday and Monday last week, but they remain above their flood levels this weekend.

“We are a community rooted in serving and faith, and we’ve been called to respond,” Beam added. “The recovery from Florence will be long and protracted, and our response needs to be well-planned and long-term. There are still some communities in this state that are recovering from Hurricane Matthew [from 2016]. Florence will have a lasting effect on North Carolina that will continue long after the water recedes.”

The task force will meet again soon and will lead all Florence relief efforts associated with Campbell University. To learn more or to volunteer, contact Beam at (910) 893-1547 or email beam@campbell.edu.