Earlier this month, the four Rotary Clubs of Naperville organized a Hurricane Florence relief effort at the Naperville Garden Plots along West Street. With a trailer and a driver made available by Cadence Premier Logistics, four days (October 6, 7, 12, and 13) were set with five 2-hour shifts of volunteers to collect new items to deliver to Lumberton, NC, a Rotary connection made possible by the efforts of Rotary District 6450 Governor Nominee Chuck Corrigan.
The community responded immediately and generously.
Thanks to a list provided by April Clark, Rotary District Governor 7730 in North Carolina, requests went out for new items that included boxed fans, insect repellent, cleaning supplies, rakes, mops, brooms, gloves— all items needed at this stage of recovery.
In addition, more than three dozen items had been listed as needs on the Rotary/Downtown website, requests that had been identified for recovery assistance by the Cadence team during previous disaster relief efforts.
Naperville residents filled four skids with pet food and pet supplies. One group of students collected 18 cartons of nonperishable food. Much-needed bedding, personal hygiene items and baby needs also were donated.
On Tues., Oct. 23, a 53-ft. trailer loaded with 18 skids, topped with items shrink-wrapped for stability as well as Gaylord storage boxes (48 x 40 x 35) packed with donations, left Cadence Premier Logistics in Joliet on a journey to Lumberton.
“It’s a truck load of approximately 30,000 pounds of relief items collected by the Rotary clubs in Naperville,” said Rocky Caylor, a member of the Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown who also is one of the partners at Cadence. “That weight is considered a full load. In fact, anything over 12 skids is considered a full load. Thanks to the generosity of the community and all the volunteers, 18 skids or pallets were loaded, sorted, labeled and shrink-wrapped.”
Caylor added, “When you consider all those goods were collected in four days—and one of the days was raining—that’s pretty amazing.”
Caylor and Corrigan have been making arrangements for several weeks for the delivery to be received by a Rotary Club in Lumberton, a city along the Lumber River that was devastated by winds and flooding when Hurricane Florence ravaged the county seat of Robeson County, the largest county in the state by land area. Lumberton has about 21,000 residents.
The cost of fuel was covered by the Illinois Trucking Foundation, the 501 (c)3 associated with the Illinois Trucking Association of which Cadence Premier Logistics is a member.
“We could not have completed these runs if it were not for Matt Hart, Executive Director Illinois Trucking Foundation, stepping up as he always has to cover the fuel costs and ongoing support to help others in need,” Caylor said.
On Monday, folks in Lumberton were notified by Corrigan that the truck would be arriving this week.
“Thank you for spearheading this effort of collecting and delivering supplies to the Lumberton area,” replied Clark. “…Thanks again, Chuck, and to the Naperville Rotarians who made this possible.”
At 2PM, Wed., Oct. 24, PN received news that the driver had reached his destination.
“Our Cadence Driver has arrived in Lumberton and (the trailer) is in the process of being unloaded,” emailed Scott Cedar. “Thank you all for letting Cadence be part of this extraordinary event.”
For more information and photos about this service project organized by the four Rotary Clubs of Naperville and supported by many kindhearted residents and local businesses, visit www.rcndowntown.com.
The Rotary Club of Hinsdale, also in District 6450, is organizing collection of school supplies in mid-November to go to the Robeson School District in North Carolina. Stay tuned for updates and opportunities to assist there, too.
The presidents of the four Rotary Clubs of Naperville embraced this community service project by helping to spread the word to their community service directors and members. Thanks to Jeff Davis (Rotary Club of Naperville/Downtown, 4::44), Randy Ems (Rotary Club of Naperville), Jeanette Oakeshott (Rotary Club of Naperville / Sunrise) and Mary Morrissey (Rotary Club of Naperville After Dark). Organizers also appreciate the Naperville Park District for making the space available at the Garden Plots. And on behalf of residents in Lumberton, NC, they extend gratitude to the entire community and beyond for its support, too.
UPDATE, Oct. 25, 2018 / Gracious feedback from Lumberton
Later in the afternoon, the delivery was unloaded. The local news was there to tell the story from that end. April Clark tipped us off about the story in the Robesonian, the local newspaper that serves the Lumberton community.
“We are most grateful for your care, concern and compassion,” emailed Clark, expressing much gratitude. “The manifestation of those sentiments showed up yesterday in Lumberton, North Carolina. The story was big news for Lumberton and Rotary and you can see it highlighted in the local paper.”
“Thank you, everyone,” emailed Doug White, Rotary District Governor Elect, District 7730, expressing appreciation to all the folks in Lumberton for unloading and distributing, and making connections in the first place. “Chuck, please thank all of your partners in IL who helped make this happen.”