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NEW BERN, N.C. (WTVD) —
Members of a North Carolina family who lost everything during Hurricane Florence are slowly getting back on their feet, thanks to the generosity of strangers.
“I think it’s gonna register tomorrow, or tonight,” said Annazette Riley-Cromartie, as she maneuvered her shopping cart through the aisles of a New Bern Target store.
Cromartie, her disabled veteran husband, and three children were treated to an all-expense-paid shopping trip to Target after donations poured in for them from across the country.
The James City family’s rescue from their flooded out home was captured on the front page of the New York Times.
“It seems so surreal,” Riley-Cromartie told WCTI. “Even now, I can’t really, like, look at the picture ’cause that’s my daughter. That’s my kids. We almost died.”
One man who did see the picture was Michael Handy, a former news reporter in New Bern who now lives in Florida.
He wanted to help Florence victims, so he set up a GoFundMe page and drove all night to New Bern to connect with the Cromarties.
“I now work for Target in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,” Handy said. “But, I had no plans for my birthday. I didn’t know what I was gonna do. And the hurricane happened, and I knew exactly what I had to do.”
With $1,100 in donated money to spend, Riley-Cromartie filled her shopping cart with essential items such as pots, plates, silverware, towels, and washcloths.
But she was also able to pick up a few toys for the kids, who lost their playthings in the floodwaters.
“For us to be able to get this is a blessing,” she said.
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