Community Partners in Jones County prepare for weather related events.
The 2019 Hurricane Season is underway, and it’s important to look back on the community partners who helped in the past.
In September 2018, The Filling Station was utilized for disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. With little supplies and a donation button, The Filling Station was able to open their doors and provide necessities to those affected by the storm. Other places could not yet be reached due to flooded roads and debris, so The Filling Station was designated as the Disaster Relief Center for the county for a few days.
The Filling Station’s mission is to fill unmet needs as it relates to nutrition, education and connection to the citizens of Jones County. The name came about after a walkthrough of the building. A hazardous material warning sign with numbers in a flame was noticed. A corresponding Bible verse spoke to their purpose and strengthened their resolve to do what they could to help the citizens of Jones County.
In preparation for this year’s Hurricane Season, The Filling Station just completed a new roof project for the 6,250 square foot building. The non-profit also organized systems and resources to be ready for a weather event and received a large generator in case of a power loss. One of their partners who leases space in the building, New Bern Radio Club, has educated them on their role in communications using the old CB tower on the property. The Filling Station has also submitted a grant to Duke Energy for acquiring a fuel tank to keep the generator going.
“We have an incredible board of directors who are working together to disperse much needed funds to rebuild after the storm,” President and Acting Executive Director Mary Ann LeRay said, “To date, we have dispersed $60,000 in disaster relief money.”
Per their website, The Filling Station provides community outreach services including feeding those in need, providing mentoring and tutoring, pair people in need with available services, a computer lab, a food pantry, promoting better health, starting a community garden, and offering classes on marriage, family, and financial well-being.
Volunteers were an integral part in getting necessities and supplies to the people impacted by the storm. They need the continued support of local officials and emergency responders to be prepared to respond in the event of a weather-related event. It would benefit them to partner with a licensed builder and electrician so that renovations to the building can be done quickly.
The Filling Station plans to grow their services in Jones County by expanding the Senior Nutrition Program that will give participants a place to connect. A future vision is to build up the food pantry to enable them to serve more families in Jones County. There are currently plans for a community garden in a partnership with Toyota of New Bern.
The Filling Station needs volunteers. They also need non-perishable foods for the Food Pantry. For more information or to volunteer, call 252-224-1127 or visit https://fillingstation1075.com/.