When Leslie Ann Jackson, NCCF director of grants and scholarships, attempted to research “long-term recovery groups” working in North Carolina, she couldn’t find much information. There is no clearinghouse per se on these entities, which generally activate themselves in times of disaster and continue to operate independently in various communities, long after a disaster has hit.
As is the case with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, several LTRG’s are still working hard in eastern North Carolina, trying to find resources to help meet the long list of unmet needs in various communities. Jackson thought it might be helpful to pull several together that are focusing on the hardest hit areas and invited them to a lunch meeting at NCCF, held in late June.
Several representatives of the Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee; the Twin Counties Disaster Recovery Group, which represents Edgecombe and Nash counties; and Long-Term Disaster Recovery – Wayne County attended the gathering. Also in attendance were NCCF Regional Directors Kelly Lee and Anne Sorhagen, who each represent areas hardest hit by Matthew, and members of the Foundation’s leadership team.
Jackson was right: it was not only helpful for NCCF staff to hear of the work of these LTRGs, but it also was helpful for the groups to hear from each other.
Many had spoken on the phone but had never met in person. Others weren’t aware of some of the work that was being done in other parts of the state. And all came away thanking the Foundation for pulling them together. Best practices, resources, frustrations and opportunities were shared, with many lingering long after adjournment to further the conversation and share contact information.
Jackson was thrilled with the outcome. “We thought it would be helpful, but we had no idea the extent to which they would ask each other questions and share such valuable insights,” she said.
There will be more to come on the outcome of this meeting, so stay tuned!