The good folks in the small Southern town of Shady Pines breathe a sigh of relief. They were not in the path of the monster hurricane that barreled into North and South Carolina. Now they want to help those who were affected. At a time like this, people need to reach out to each other.

The destruction that Hurricane Florence unleashed is unreal. The pictures coming in show scenes of battered houses, downed trees, washed out highways and roads. People and vehicles can be seen wading and driving through through high water. In neighborhood after neighborhood there are long lines as people wait for gas and food.

The Shady Pines Gazette newspaper editor, Zulah Talmadge, and Scoop, the Cub Reporter, have been tracking all the news. Zulah looks through piles of reports.

Hundreds of thousands of people don’t have electricity because it was knocked out by the storm. Power trucks from other states head to the area to help out. But many of the roads are washed out. How will they get there?

“Scoop, do you have the latest on what roads are open and which ones are closed?”

The young reporter with the tousled red hair finishes a phone call and looks up. “The latest information is supposed to be updated in about an hour, Ms. Talmadge. The flood waters from the major rivers are still rising. Crews are out trying to see which highways are safe.”

Zulah nods. “I’ve been hearing that, too.”

Scoop is excited about one thing. “I’ve been talking with some of my buddies and they’re getting supplies together. They know some parents who drive pickup trucks. Moms and dads are ready to start deliveries as soon as the roads are better.”

Zulah has an idea. “I’ll call Rita Malena over at the Community Center. I want to see how her hurricane relief efforts are coming along. She was going to turn the place into a drop off center for donations. In fact, Scoop, why don’t you grab your camera and let’s go over there and see for ourselves.”

Scoop is once step ahead of her. “I had a feeling you might say that. So I’ve got my reporter’s notebook, am grabbing my gear, and I’m ready to roll.”

Scoop and Zulah throw everything into their news vehicle and take off. Zulah decides to call Rita anyway and let her know they’ll be there soon.

“Hi Rita, it’s Zulah. How are things going? We’re heading your way.”

Rita Malena is the Director of the Shady Pines Community Center and she is a busy woman this morning trying to direct traffic. People are coming by with all sorts of donations, and volunteers are asking what goes where.

“Hi Zulah. It’s humming over here. People are dropping off bottled water, can goods, baby food, diapers, clothing, toothpaste and tooth brushes, shampoo, you-name-it. Our neighbors are so generous. They’re bringing in all the items people need in a time like this. They know a lot of folks can’t get to a store. In fact, without power, a lot of stores can’t open!”

As Rita is talking, volunteers separate out all of the different kinds of donations into big boxes. The activity at the Community Center is non stop. Helping one another and working together is what makes the town of Shady Pines such a special place.

If you would like to follow their lead and help out with the Hurricane Florence Relief efforts go HERE.

Real life relief agencies are hard at work and donations will be needed for weeks and months to come.

Anything you can do will be much appreciated for those whose lives have been upended by this massive storm event.