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Blankets of Love: A "Hug" for Victims of Matthew

Monday is the last day for survivors of Hurricane Matthew to apply for federal disaster recovery assistance. (Pixabay)
Monday is the last day for survivors of Hurricane Matthew to apply for federal disaster recovery assistance. (Pixabay)
January 9, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolinians can provide some extra warmth this winter for the survivors of Hurricane Matthew who are still struggling to put their lives back in order.

Donations are being accepted for a program called Blankets of Love to be donated to hurricane victims around the state.

Ericka Jones Whitaker, CEO of Southeastern Community and Family Services, Inc. in Lumberton, says her organization is among the community agencies opening its doors to provide housing, food and other supports to storm survivors. She says sometimes, all people need is to just know they aren't alone.

"People coming in and just wanting to know that there is someone there, because they don't have bare necessities, they lost everything in their homes,” she states. “There were people who actually lost loved ones, but just knowing that there are individuals out there that care."

Donations will be accepted until Feb. 3 and can be made on the North Carolina Community Action Association's website,

Meanwhile, Monday is the deadline for people to seek federal storm-recovery aid. That information is online at

Sharon Goodson, executive director of the North Carolina Community Action Association, explains Matthew's devastation affected the entire state, and help is still out there for many families, children and elderly residents. She says a warm blanket is like a hug for those in need.

"Just a way of saying, 'We have not forgotten you, and we want to show that we care about you,'” she states. “Community action is about helping people. It's about helping each other and it's about making our communities better places for all people. And we couldn't think of a better way than to reach out so that we could help one another."

More than two-dozen people died as the result of Hurricane Matthew, which caused billions of dollars of damage in North Carolina alone.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - NC