On the morning of Friday, September 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall. The slow-moving category 1 storm lasted two days, dropping roughly 36 inches of rainfall, causing catastrophic flooding and around 1 million customers – individuals and families – to lose power. Many were stuck without access to food or water for days with no means of transportation.
This was still the case for hundreds of thousands on Monday, September 17, when Carolina Jaramillo, Senior Regional HR Manager-East came into the QCD Charlotte office and asked Safety and Training Manager Pete VanSaun what they could do to help those in need. VanSaun promptly called the CEO of the Second Harvest Foodbank of Metrolina, an organization they partner with for Feeding Hunger: A "No Lunch" Lunch, to see how they could help. The food bank had supplies but no way of getting them to where they needed to go: Charleston.
Walter Wallen, General Manager at QCD Charlotte, volunteered QCD's capabilities. Players from the Charlotte Hornets basketball team boxed supplies, compiling more than 1,400 cases. Transportation Training Supervisor Eric Greene, a member of the Airforce Reserves who had already been called up to help but is known for always stepping up and helping where he can, returned to pick up the truck, collect the supplies from the food bank and drive them to Charleston.
"Several associates asked what we could do to assist families affected by the storm," explained VanSaun. "I was thankful that we were able to contribute as an organization."
The citizens of Charleston desperately needed these supplies; the Second Harvest Food bank desperately needed a way to get them there, and we are proud and thankful of the teams and staff members who stopped and asked, "How can we help?" There were many more than those mentioned in this story, and we appreciate all of you. These actions represent the GSF values we strive to live every day.