Hurricane hasshown the verybest of Bladen

The aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has brought out the very best in people throughout Bladen County who have displayed a tremendous amount of compassion, assistance, empathy and help over the past 10 days.

We don’t have to look far to see individuals and groups organizing and putting into motion efforts to collect and distribute items like food, water, clothing, toiletries, bedding and much more.

Kudos are due those at East Bladen High, the Elizabethtown Police Department, Kinlaw Furniture and Dublin First Baptist Church — to name a few, and there are so many others who have worked behind the scenes and without fanfare — who have not only gone to great lengths to help Bladen County residents in need, but also sent items into Lumberton for those who continue to be without power and water.

We also need to thank those who continue to contribute to the fourth annual “Roger’s Wish” project at the Bladen Journal. Those items are being funneled through Kinlaw Furniture’s warehouse to area shelters and FEMA sites.

And we would be terribly remiss not to recognize Bladen County Emergency Services Director Bradley Kinlaw, the dozens upon dozens of EMS crews, power company lineman, local law enforcement officers, shelter workers and city and county public works crews who have worked around the clock to ensure residents were as safe and as comfortable as possible during some incredibly trying times.

While the print edition of the Bladen Journal has been missing for the past week from our subscribers’ mailboxes because of the hurricane completely flooding our printing facility in Lumberton, we send thanks to many local folks for getting us back online so our website could continue to be populated as soon as possible with important information.

With any luck, we hope today’s Bladen Journal print edition will be getting delivered — if road conditions are improved.

Counted, too, among the best we’ve seen in people is how government officials have rolled up shirtsleeves and worked side-by-side with their employees to assess damage, curfew needs, closings and cleanup; the assistance from the National Guard, water rescue teams and countless other neighbors and friends willing to deliver food, offer shelter, ice and hot water to those still without power. Helping hands were needed, and helping hands were extended, and are still being extended today. And we, like so many others across Bladen County, are thankful.

In our times of greatest needs, faced with devastation and uncertainty, seeing the best in people is refreshing and a reminder of how great our community really is. Matthew packed a powerful punch, taking the breath out of many of us but, thanks to the goodness of so many people, he didn’t knock us down for long.



“You have two hands … one to help yourself, the other to help others.” (Unknown)

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