Government, Major Corporations, and Nonprofits Partner together to benefit the animals affected by Hurricane Florence
Restore Global is working in conjunction with Guilford County’s Animal Services, Carteret County Animal Shelter, and several nonprofit agencies in relief efforts following Hurricane Florence.
With the cooperation of local government, major industry, and our nonprofit partners, Restore Global is acting as the staging location for a national response for pet and animal products, clothing, and medical supplies to assist in the recovery efforts following the recent natural disaster, Hurricane Florence.
More than 24 different agencies have been provided with items at no cost to them to enhance their service towards those affected by the storm.
On Friday night September 14, 2018 during Hurricane Florence, Carteret County North Carolina’s Humane Society’s shelter flooded and the roof caved in. Three people and 120 animals were rescued by the Cajun Navy. Through the partnership with Restore Global crates were supplied for all of the animals in need.
Beneficiaries of Restore Global’s
Hurricane Florence Relief Project
- Checkered Flag Foundation
- Second Harvest Food Band
- Rescue Ranch
- Maverick Pet Transportation and Rescue
- Crisis Assistance
- Team Rubicon
- Humane Society of Charlotte
- Stonewall Sports
- Carolina Waterfowl Rescue
- Guilford County Animal Services
- Northside Baptist Church
- Ebenezer Baptist Church
- Abandoned Love Animal Rescue
- North Hampton County Health Department
- Colonial Capital Humane Society
- Carteret County Humane Society
- Companion Canines
- Chihuahua Rescue & Transportatation
- A New Chance Animal Rescue
- Lee County Animal Shelter
- Gram Rescue Ranch
- Columbus County Animal Shelter
- Guiding Spirits Animal Rescue
- Dillon County Animal Shelter
- Hurricane Pet Relief
*agencies in italics were served by our partners.
Chairs Make a Difference
During the summer of 2018, Thomasboro Academy, the only Title 1 school in CMS where 100% of the students live below the poverty level, heard about available leather chairs through a social media referral. After scheduling a pickup date with our team, a volunteer came to the Restore Global warehouse with a pickup truck and picked up 8 black leather chairs. A couple days later, the volunteer called and asked if there were any more available. This time the volunteer came with the Vice Principal and some students who were excited to see their school receiving nice furniture.
The volunteer was excited about the Restore Global programs and wanted to learn more about the benefits of partnership. After setting up a meeting, our team went to Thomasboro Academy to share our programs. We were immediately bombarded with staff and faculty articulating their gratitude for the black leather chairs.
As it turns out, leather is important because when students come to school with lice and bed bugs, the insects burrow in the chairs and infect the whole school. Leather chairs gave the school an opportunity to stop the bugs from spreading to other students, teachers, and staff. Recognizing the benefits to the community, the volunteer was so excited to invite three other nonprofits to the meeting – Save, Matthews Playhouse, and Northside Baptist Church. Throughout the meeting, each person was surprised and excited about the programs offered by Restore Global and how we can help them grow. Each identified three or four other community nonprofits that could benefit from our services!
Not only did these black leather chairs have a great impact on a 100% under poverty level school, but they created a path for our network to grow and impact the community.
An Unconventional Way of Connecting Dots
When the Pregnancy Resource Center of Charlotte upgraded its ultrasound technology, it gave the former equipment to Restore Global, certain that the two donated machines would find an appropriate home. A logical place to send the still useful gear would be to a developing country with an urgent need. Steven Wray, Restore Global’s founder, had a different, more community-based idea. He offered the ultrasound equipment to, of all places, the Humane Society of Charlotte.
According to Donna Stucker, VP of Development for the Humane Society of Charlotte, they hadn’t even communicated their desire for such equipment to Restore Global. Steven, who has an unconventional way of connecting dots felt there was probably a need by their veterinary staff for this kind of diagnostic tool. So, he initiated the transfer. Even though the equipment was deemed out of date for human needs, it was still valuable for Dr. Stephanie Lee, who is now able to diagnose basic conditions onsite, quickly, which is a boon for the animals and her. “This equipment allows me to check for everything from pregnancy to kidney stones and bladder infections,” she explained. Having the equipment means she can often find a definitive answer as to why an animal is having a problem. A faster diagnosis means less suffering for the animal and quicker resolution for the owner. “Having the equipment gives us added assurance and confidence in our diagnoses,” she says. “Without it, I’d have to send the client to see her primary care practitioner, which is added stress on the pet and the client,” not to mention the cost of off-site X-rays and ultrasounds.
The Humane Society of Charlotte accepts about 3,000 dogs and cats each year with the goal of finding them permanent homes. They don’t euthanize unless a medical or severe behavioral condition warrants. The amount of time, patience, and love that is shown to each animal is impressive. An even larger, equally notable number is the amount of spay and neuter services they provide in a year: an astounding 13,290. The ultrasound equipment is sometimes used in these surgeries.
Restore Global’s uncanny ability to pair a nonprofit’s need with corporate excess is one of its unique signatures. Steven says that as a nonprofit serving other nonprofits, he’s been compared to Robin Hood. “Except for the tights,” he jokes. Providing nonprofits with everything from medical equipment to paper goods helps relieve some of the administrative burdens that can distract nonprofits from their missions. “We help nonprofits not just do good, we help them do better,” he says.
The Second Disaster
People serving in catastrophic events are familiar with the term “second disaster.” It’s the problem that develops after the original crisis. For the Puerto Rican Cultural Society, the second disaster was the discovery of an inability to deliver hundreds of tons of supplies to family and friends who were suffering the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria that hit the island in the summer of 2017.
As the donations of food, water, cleaning supplies and more piled up to the ceiling, happiness at the generosity of the community turned to frustration when quotes for shipping the donations were overwhelming expensive. Some things simply can’t be budgeted. Shipping hundreds of tons of supplies overseas at a moment’s notice is one of them. The PRCS was quoted more than $100,000 to deliver a small portion of their donated supplies to the disaster zone. That’s when Restore Global and it’s logistics expertise entered.
The Puerto Rican Cultural Society could have asked donors to support the six-figure price tag required to ship the supplies and they may or may not have reached that goal. With Restore Global’s assistance, the cost for this project landed at $25,000.00. Not only did the supplies get to those who needed them most, but the money donors saved was able to be invested in other worthwhile programs of impact.
Pit Bull Service Dogs?
When Greg wrapped up 12 years of service in the Army, having served overseas in Iraq and close to home during Hurricane Katrina, he looked forward to life as a civilian. Persistent nightmares, rages, and crippling depression made daily life a battlefield. The VA provided counseling and medications, but that intervention helped only a little. When doctors told him he’d never be rid of the awful dreams that jolted him out of sleep every night, his depression worsened. “When you’re told that the thing that’s making your life miserable is never going to go away, you wonder, what’s the point in going on?”
Greg was alluding to the suicide epidemic among soldiers, twenty-two 22 die by their own hand every day. That is more lives than are lost at war. “The day-to-day struggle just wears you down. People can’t understand,” he says.
Greg knew he had plenty to live for and wanted to live. So, he and his wife Angela discussed the value of a service dog. “The only one we could agree on was a Pit Bull,” he laughs, referring to Angela’s edict that they must have a dog that wouldn’t shed. Googling ‘Pit Bull Service Dogs,’ Greg found the American Pit Bull Foundation based in Charlotte where he lives. “I saw their program called ‘Operation Sidekick,’ which is a military term, and of course I thought this was too good to be true. I called them just to see if they could point me in the right direction.” Instead, Greg got the service dog of his dreams, tan-colored Delilah, who was just a puppy. Greg helped foster her litter. Despite a catastrophic bout of distemper, from which several puppies died, Delilah and Greg bonded. With specialized training, Delilah has become a constant companion and the balm to soothe his internal wounds. He calls the American Pit Bull Foundation a “godsend.”
“If not for the APBF, I probably still wouldn’t have a dog,” says Greg, who confessed he was discouraged by the daunting process of procuring a service animal. He credits APBF with clearing away the obstacles and red tape. “This dog,” he says, reaching down and scratching Delilah’s white chin, “is the answer I was looking for.” Now, when Greg has nightmares, Delilah springs into action, jumping on the bed and covering his face with kisses. While he still has horrible dreams, Greg says his nightmares have diminished. With Delilah in his life, he’s calmer and happier. He still struggles with depression, but Delilah whether through a paw on his leg or just by leaning into him says in her own way, “Hey, we’ve got this.”
Restore Global has helped procure puppy food and dog treats valued at thousands of dollars for the American Pit Bull Foundation to use in their growing program. Founder Sara Enos says that with Restore Global on the lookout for items that can benefit her organization, it frees her to work on important initiatives. “Restore Global’s donations help alleviate fundraising, eliminate shipping fees, and allow me to refocus my time and energy on program development and other needs. We’re incredibly grateful,” she says.
As for Greg, he’s grateful too. “The Pitt Bull Foundation has a lot of moving parts,” he says. “If you can remove one of those moving parts, like having to get dog food donated, the whole machine operates more efficiently.” Not having to raise money for puppy food means the Foundation can focus more on training dogs and their people, an aspect that directly benefits Greg. Angela also benefits. “Delilah takes a lot of the emotional burden off of my wife. Angela’s no longer the one who has to wake me out of my nightmares,” he explains. That’s Delilah’s job now. Sometimes, when Delilah senses Angela’s having a hard day, she will curl up in Angela’s lap or lean into her a little too.
In his darkest days, Greg says Delilah is an incentive to keep going. “I can’t leave her,” he says. “Just her being near me, that support is huge. And she’s non-judgmental,” he explains. “She gives me unconditional love. That’s astoundingly uplifting.”