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The impact of Hurricane Florence still ripples through North Carolina — and also among Triangle area charities.
According to chief operating officer Rob Tart, this is the busiest time of year at the Durham Rescue Mission.
“We always try to have a big event for the community,” he said of the Durham Rescue Mission’s huge basement pantry, which is the foundation for every dining hall meal. “When you’re feeding 300 to 400 people three meals a day every day, you can go through a lot of food fast.”
Donations of all kinds allow the mission to meet the needs of the working poor and the homeless in the Durham area.
According to Tart, the impact of Hurricane Florence may not have had a “direct” hit on Durham, but the effect is real.
“By that, I mean a lot of the things that once were coming to the Durham Rescue Mission went to the hurricane,” said Tart.
Children in families that are financially struggling may not get presents this Christmas. “So often, the working poor’s kids are neglected,” said Tart. “They don’t have good Christmases.”
Tart said he hopes more donations will come in soon to change all of that.
“Every year we give away toys to children who are 12 and under,” he said. “Last year we gave away over 9,000 toys, and we’re doing it on a Saturday this year, so we’re hoping to maybe pop 12,000.”
According to Tart, any other time of year, used toys would be fine.
“We get a lot of used toys and things like that, but we are really looking for new toys for these children,” he said, noting that new, unwrapped toys, will lift the spirits of children and their parents.
“We want every kid, if we can, to have a good Christmas.”
Durham Rescue Mission leaders say, in addition to providing toys and food for people at their Christmas events, they are also in great need of warm winter clothing for the individuals and families they serve.