PEMBROKE, Ga. (WSAV) — As officials work to clean up debris, the community is focused on lifting up those who lost everything.
Since Wednesday, volunteers have been unloading trucks and trailers full of household supplies, food and hygiene products at Lanier Primary School. Volunteers said they are overwhelmed with donations from people in Bryan County and surrounding areas.
Wendy Futch, executive director of Bryan County Family Connection, is a lifelong resident of the county. Her first ever job was at the county courthouse, which the tornado destroyed.
Futch’s organization is now helping those in need and she said she’s thankful for the outpouring of support.
“It really made me sick to my stomach to see the damage that was done,” Futch said. “These are our neighbors. These are people I grew up with. These are the people that my nephews go to school with and so we’re just really thankful to be able to put our arms around them and reach them, tell them we love them and show them that we love them.”
For volunteers at Lanier, it’s all about coming together after the storm.
“It is a blessing to be a blessing to go out and be able to help people and especially so close,” volunteer Kelly Crane said. “I’m not from the community, but I’m the community right next door, so this was real close to home for me. These are my neighbors and friends and I just want to help in whatever way I can.”
“It means a lot to put a smile on other people’s face when they lose their homes or something,” said volunteer Cooper, who’s from Bryan County.
Futch said at least 60 families are in need of assistance and there are enough supplies gathered to support them for months. But collecting supplies is just the first step in helping this community rebuild from a storm that’s leaving some people without a home.
“We know that the long-term recovery is going to take a while for these families,” Futch said. “We are looking for monetary donations and so if you’re in a position to give in that way we know that these families, it’s going to take a while to rebuild.”
On Saturday, families in need can pick up the supplies they need from Lanier Primary starting at 9 a.m. There will also be mental health resources available.