Margaret was born and raised in a small community near Burgaw, NC and has lived in her home there since 1982. She worked in the school system for eight years as a teacher assistant and later at Corning as a fiber processing coordinator for 13 years. In 2015, she had to go on disability after a hip replacement surgery and arthritis made it too painful to work. Margaret also struggles with high blood pressure and limited movement with joint pain, arthritis, and chronic back pain.
A single mother of two grown children, Margaret says she always has lived by the philosophy of staying positive and encouraging others, no matter the circumstances. In September of 2018, Hurricane Florence put that philosophy to the test.
The hurricane turned Margaret’s world upside down. Her home was destroyed by flood waters, which rose to the peak of the roof. She lost all baby photos, family heirlooms, and personal mementos, as well as practical belongings like clothing and shoes.
This past summer, the process of rebuilding Margaret’s home began. With generous support from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, other community partners, and the amazing volunteer efforts of DART-ILM and F3 Raleigh, we gutted and replaced brick, subflooring, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. Today drywall has been hung, paint is up, and finishes are being completed.
After more than a year in a cramped FEMA trailer, Margaret soon will be able to gather with her friends and family in her rebuilt home—just in time for the holidays! Despite all she has been through, Margaret has stayed true to her principles. She sees hurricane recovery as “another opportunity to trust in God,” and she embraces her “new family” of volunteers and others she has met as a result of the disaster.
At age 61, Margaret dreams of becoming a motivational speaker. She says she will forever be looking for opportunities to give back in some way to all of those who have helped her weather this storm.