When Hurricane Florence hit Myrtle Beach, it left over 2,000 families without a home. They literally had nothing. I knew I had to do something to help. Growing up, my mom taught me we should love our neighbors and treat others like you’d want to be treated.
I own a 70-room inn, so I told people they could come stay with me for free as long as they needed. We filled up immediately. They were hungry and had nothing to their name. Since I love to cook, I fired up my grill, bought some burgers and hot dogs, and fed everyone.
I didn’t know how we’d handle day two but I had faith the Lord would help us in some way. I wasn’t prepared for how much He helped. The response from our community was overwhelming, and the kindness just spread.
People started showing up, handing me money to help our residents. Local restaurants donated meals for all 350 people crammed into our inn, so we started feeding them three meals a day for several weeks.
The love kept multiplying. Barbers came to cut hair, artists to paint children’s faces, DJs to play music, veterinarians to take care of their pets, and clowns to make people smile. God met every one of our needs.
My friend is a social media consultant (I never thought I’d need one of those!) and established a Facebook account, Myrtle Beach Midtown Disaster Relief. We could post the specific needs of people, like “my husband starts a job next week and needs size 14 work boots”. The needs were met within minutes. Another citizen donated a warehouse to store the massive amounts of food and clothing being dropped off at our inn. Donations flooded in from around the world to help these people get back on their feet. I was amazed at the love shown by our fellow man. It reminded me of the cartoon character rolling a tiny pebble down a mountain; it keeps gathering momentum and becomes a huge boulder by the time it reaches the bottom.
God showed us all that loving your neighbor is easy and the right thing to do. And it spread love, generosity and kindness throughout our entire community.