Wilmington, NC – In September, Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina with enough wind speed to uproot trees and cause widespread power outages throughout the Carolinas. It also caused flooding along a long stretch of the North Carolina coast, from New Bern to Wilmington. Most major roads and highways in the area experienced some flooding, with large stretches of I-40, I-95, and US Route 70 remaining impassable for days after the storm had passed. The city of Wilmington was cut off entirely from the rest of the mainland by floodwaters. That’s where Operation BBQ Relief comes in.
During the aftermath, John Gibbons, RHA Director of Case Management-CAP (Community Alternative Program Services) donated a day to working with Operation BBQ Relief and The American Red Cross. They delivered meals to the hard-hit city of Wilmington, NC. Most of the food was donated by Smithfield’s Foods who provided a dozen 18-wheelers on site.
John left his home near Raleigh at 4 AM and arrived in Wilmington at 6 AM. He helped with all aspects including loading the cooker with meat, seasoning/saucing the meat, and packaging containers to send off with delivery runners to the community. They served 14,400 plates on this day but had serviced over 266,000 plates that week! John said, “It was an incredible experience to serve that community.” And his work did not go unnoticed.
“The employees in our company were blown away by your willingness to give of your time and talent for our hurting city. You never cease to amaze us! Thanks for all you do!”
Personal Product Advisor Wilmington Medical Supply
“Good afternoon everyone! I just wanted to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to John Gibbons, Director of Case management for RHA Health Services. He is with a group of volunteers cooking and serving thousands of hot lunches and dinners today in Wilmington! His group has been waiting for two weeks to come and serve our community. It is inspiring to see a member of an agency that we serve, come and give his time to give back to our city in this time of distress. Thanks John for all that you and your group are doing! We truly appreciate it!”
-Tom J. Grazioso
Director of Inside Sales, Incontinence Division/Wilmington
Operation BBQ Relief was founded in May 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri. Volunteers from competition BBQ teams from eight states answered the need to help feed displaced families, police, fire, National Guard and emergency personnel. Operation BBQ Relief continues to respond to natural disasters.
Read more to learn about Operation BBQ Relief and RHA’s Giving Back >>>