Seahawks in the Community

English Professor Helps Displaced Instructors and Students Recover

hurricane heart logoMaia Butler, assistant professor in the English department, organized resources to support fellow part-time instructors and former graduate students who were displaced from their homes by the storm. She purchased a storage unit to house furniture and household items salvaged from their homes, and coordinated donations to help colleagues replace belongings that were lost to water and mold damage. {submitted by Katie Peel}

A Seahawk Feeds a Need

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World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by Chef Jose Andres, came to Wilmington to provide free meals for first responders, shelters and anyone else needing food during and after the storm. Barbara Snyder, a Simulation Lab Assistant in the School of Nursing, volunteered several days with World Central Kitchen to help feed the community. {submitted by Anne Glass}

Employees Package Supplies to Benefit Hurricane Victims

Harrelson Center volunteers

Toi Utley, with the University Police Department, worked more than 100 emergency closing hours during the storm but still found time to volunteer on her days off with Jill Parson, Transfer Articulation Administrator, at Northside Baptist Church and the Harrelson Center. They loaded and packaged supplies for hurricane victims. {submitted by Jill Parson}

Cooking for a Cause

Operation BBQ Relief

Following the storm, several UNCW employees and students volunteered with Operation BBQ Relief. The organization generated more than 320,000 meals that were distributed to New Hanover County and five surrounding counties. {submitted by Amy Cavanaugh and Tom Janicki}

CHHS Volunteers Answer the Call(s) for Support

CHHS volunteersMembers from the College of Health and Human Services volunteered for the Red Cross/WECT telethon to benefit New Hanover County and surrounding counties for hurricane relief on September 27. Volunteers included Chris Lantz, Stacey Kolomer, Ashley Wells, Sheri Shaw, Leah Mayo and Tiffany Erichsen. {submitted by Sheri Shaw}

Ready, Set, Recover

hurricane heart logoFor small businesses struggling to recover following Hurricane Florence, UNCW’s Small Business & Technology Development Center has been a lifeline. SBTDC has helped more than 220 businesses develop strategies after the storm. Staff aided business owners with long-term strategies like additional marketing, reviewing their business or strategic plans to make corrective actions, and even scrutinized insurance policy coverage for future disasters. UNCW students served as a part of the SBTDC Business Recovery intern team, helping the SBTDC staff determine business needs and recovery status and conducting client research and analysis. {submitted by Heather McWhorter}

Repairing and Rebuilding

Mike Chenault surveys a damaged house

Mike Chenault, locksmith/carpenter/paint supervisor for the UNCW physical plant teamed up with other UNCW staff members Shawn Burkett, Mike Last, Tanner Tribou, Jason Goodmurphy, Dave Olsen, Kristi Eakins and Harry Eason to help fellow Seahawks. UNCW landscape superintendent Jake Inabnit's home was damaged by the water that came in with Hurricane Florence - particularly his children’s bedrooms. The group got to work cleaning up the mess. “It’s not just repairing someone’s house," Chenault said. "It’s about relationship-building and developing a sense of appreciation and community and working together as a family.” {submitted by Karen Thompson}

Putting Muscles to Work

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Nic Troutman, Project Manager of the Architectural & Construction Services, was involved with a men’s workout and leadership group called F3 (Fitness, Fellowship, Faith) Cape Fear during the storm. Some of its members worked 19 days straight in the community to assistance in hurricane recover efforts. View this YouTube video to learn more about the work F3 Cape Fear did in the community. {submitted by Nic Troutman}

Seahawk Parent Gives Back to Local Charity

hurricane heart logoSeahawk parent Danny Cook connected with Campus Life to donate sponges, paper towels, insect repellent, yard bags and wipes to the Harrelson Center, a Wilmington nonprofit organization. Although Cook’s family incurred flood damage at their home in Lumberton, nothing deterred this Seahawk from reaching out to help our community. His daughter Lauren ’22 is a nursing major. {submitted by Mona Clites}

"Go With the Flo" Brings Community Together

hurricane heart logoMichelle Manning, lecturer and English in Action coordinator, started a Facebook page called "Go with the Flo" the week of the impending hurricane. Manning posted news about the hurricane and its impact on Wilmington and the surrounding areas. She also supplied travel tips, water and food supply updates, and local news to a large number of people in the community. {submitted by Lisa Coats}

School of Nursing Associate Professor Assists Brunswick County Recovery Efforts

Beth GazzaElizabeth Gazza, associate professor in the School of Nursing, and her husband Bill volunteered at the Brunswick Family Assistance donation management site in Shallotte, NC. BFA coordinated the collection and distribution of donations in Brunswick County. {submitted by Elizabeth Gazza}

Operation Airdrop Delivers Supplies to the Coast

hurricane heart logoMultiple pilots flew out of the general aviation facility at Raleigh-Durham Airport as part of Operation Airdrop. Their planes delivered supplies to coastal areas temporarily cut off from the rest of the state by floodwaters. UNCW student Lindsay Rifenburg ’22 was one of many volunteers who helped communities across North Carolina by collecting thousands of items, from water to clothes to toiletries and more, for Operation Airdrop. {submitted by Dianne Connor and Cindy Hucks '93, '15M}

Center for Marine Science Associate Makes an Impact

Convoy of HopeBrittani Isidoro, administrative associate at the Center for Marine Science, helped Impact Church serve free lunches at Kickback Jack’s restaurant to first responders, line repair crews and others who needed hot meals. Isidoro also helped Convoy of Hope, a faith-based humanitarian organization, pack and load supplies for hurricane victims. {submitted by Brittani Isidoro}

 Office of University Relations Designs T-Shirt for Hurricane Relief

Hurricane Relief ShirtsThomas Cone of the Office of University Relations collaborated with University Advancement to design a T-shirt for sale on the UNCW Bookstore website to help raise money for hurricane relief. The shirts are on sale for $24.98 and can be purchased here. A portion ($15.98) of each shirt sold will benefit both the UNCW Campus Emergency Fund (student relief) and the Hurricane Florence Employee Assistance Fund. Learn more at

No Fish Left Behind

Joe PawlikJoe Pawlik, Frank Hawkins Kenan Professor of Marine Biology, saved the MarineQuest fish in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The Center for Marine Science, like many places in Wilmington, lost power during the storm. Pawlik used portable aerators in many tanks and even moved Nerf, the charismatic Golden Puffer, to a trash can full of seawater where he could get more oxygen. Many of the fish were minutes away from dying until Pawlik came in to save the day. The MarineQuest team was brought to tears of joy when they returned to work and found all of the fish happily swimming in their tanks. {submitted by Erin Moran}

 Office of Community Engagement Compiles List of Resources for the Community

hurricane heart logoUNC Wilmington’s Office of Community Engagement has been compiling a list of resources since the arrival of Hurricane Florence. The list serves people in the Cape Fear Region who were affected by the storm, and provides charities’ contact information to people from around the region and across the country who want to donate goods, services or money. The list, updated continually in the aftermath of the storm, includes resources and assistance in disaster recovery. Email the Office of Community Engagement or message their Facebook page for additional information or questions. {submitted by Kristen Brogdon}

Office of Student Leadership and Engagement Organizes Volunteer Opportunities

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The Office of Student Leadership and Engagement has several opportunities for Seahawks to help give back to the community. Several community organizations have benefited from OSLE’s outreach, including Vintage Values Resale Shop, the Lower Cape Fear Diaper Bank, Habitat for Humanity and the Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM). {submitted by Jaime Russell}

 UNCW Campus Ministry Helps Local Neighborhood Recover

hurricane heart logoSophomore Rachel Campbell ’21 volunteered with CRU, her campus ministry, assisting with various construction tasks in Wilmington. Campbell worked in Northchase, a New Hanover County neighborhood, to clean out homes in a heavily flooded area. Campbell said she loved the opportunity to help others with her construction skills and she also enjoyed getting to know people from other universities who also volunteered. {submitted by Rachel Campbell}

 Wake Forest Police Aid UPD

hurricane heart logoThe Wake Forest Police Department sent several officers, including the chief of police, to Wilmington after the storm to assist the UNCW Police Department. A tree fell on the roof of Officer J.G. Fleuriet's home, and colleagues from Wake Forest and UPD helped him address the damage. {submitted by Jacob Fleuriet}

Purchasing Services Helps Students Evacuate and Return

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The Purchasing Services team helped make arrangements prior to the storm to evacuate UNCW students to UNC Asheville. Following the storm, Purchasing Services expedited the process to acquire contractors’ services and supported efforts to assist displaced students from Belk and the University Apartments. {submitted by Stefanie Powell}

CSB Associate Dean Brings Community Together for Relief

David GlewDavid Glew, associate dean of undergraduate programs in the Cameron School of Business, worked with volunteers from 10 regional congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When natural disasters strike, his church mobilizes quickly to provide relief like clearing downed trees, putting tarps on roofs, mucking out flooded homes, and providing food, water and cleaning supplies to homeowners and shelters. Glew was able to gather more than 7,500 volunteers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, where volunteers provided more than 100,000 hours of service in the greater Wilmington area. He also coordinated bringing in several truckloads of food, water and supplies. {submitted by David Glew}

Host Families Step Up to Aid International Students

hurricane heart logo Relocating for an extended period of time was a challenge for many, and UNCW's international students were certainly no exception. Host families graciously took in students for weeks, and others helped the Office of International Programs recruit additional host families or shuttled students to and from the airport. These families offered a sense of calm in the storm, as well as information and resources for our international Seahawks. {submitted by María Elena Gaborov Jones}