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LANCE: Savannah steps up after hurricane

Without a doubt, the Savannah community proved most impressive post-Hurricane Matthew. In the midst of damage to the city, Savannah citizens stepped up together in a collective heave ho to clean the city and return to a sense of Savannah’s vibrant normalcy.

If you were able to hop on social media post-hurricane, you probably noticed a lot of businesses were ready to rock and roll too. Some even as soon as Monday, Oct. 10. The term Slowvannah did not apply. Not only were businesses ready to operate and meet the needs of consumers, many also lent a helping hand to one another in the form of money, time, and resources they could offer.

Perc Coffee Roasters, with its emergency generator running non-stop, was roasting coffee beans as soon as Monday and offering power and internet to the public at their shop on East Broad Street the following day. Despite suffering some damage, the print shop Creative Approach, located on MLK, was open and fully operational Tuesday and is currently offering a twenty percent discount to special tradesmen throughout the entire month of October. Savannah’s Wholefoods got on the bandwagon and offered a ten percent discount last Wednesday to shoppers looking to restock their pantries.

Here at The Creative Coast, our team assisted Savannah’s newest movement, Beautiful City, and Agape Empowerment Ministries to bring in sleeping bags, tents, cots and other needs for the homeless impacted by the storm. The goods were donated from Chicago-based non-profit World Vision, who put everything on a big truck and sent it down to Savannah.

Loop It Up Savannah and Emergent Savannah both hosted block parties at St. Mary’s Community Center the week after Hurricane Matthew during which a community clean-up, a free lunch, and children’s activities took place. Volunteers assisted with the set-up, distribution, running kids’ activities, and clean up.

Local AT&T southeast Georgia regional director Gary Sanchez delivered a $25,000 check to the American Red Cross for the funding a temporary shelter, which was opened to assist local residents without power or who had severe damage to their homes. The shelter provided not only a place to live, but also hot meals for the temporary residents during post-Hurricane Matthew recovery. The Islands YMCA and West Chatham YMCA provided locations for these shelters.

Hurricane Matthew may be a memory for some, but for others, the headaches, home repairs, and displacements continue. Perhaps you would like to volunteer to help fulfill the needs of someone affected by the storm. The City of Savannah’s Emergency Management Department has launched a website to facilitate community preparedness and recovery. The website https://savannah.recovers.org/ is managed by local organizations and allows organizations to post their services, request resources, and access the databases of needs, donations, and volunteers. Residents can request help or sign up to donate and volunteer. How cool is that?

Savannah may have taken a hit with Hurricane Matthew, but it certainly brought out the best in our local community.

 

Kait Lance is an entrepreneurship evangelist and community manager at The Creative Coast, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the creative and entrepreneurial community within the region. Kait can be reached at 912-447-8457 or kait@thecreativecoast.org.

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