Chapter honors local heroes, commemorates 100 years


A spread of warm biscuits, fresh fruit, fluffy eggs, and steamy coffee greeted the guests who entered The Rose Hill Plantation Conference Center early June 1 for the Red Cross Northeastern NC Chapter Centennial Breakfast.

The breakfast celebrated the chapter’s centennial and recognized local volunteers with “HERO Awards.” Recipients demonstrated the seven fundamental principles of the American Red Cross: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.

This year’s recipients include: Dr. Richard G. Michal, Jean Bailey, the Rocky Mount Fire Department’s Swiftwater Rescue Team & Hilo Aquatic Rescue Team, and the United Way Tar River Region.


Ann Mosley presents the Norma Turnage Award to Jean Bailey, Thursday, June. 1, 2017.  (Photo by Garry Hodges)

Michal received the Red Cross HERO Award, commemorating his service both in the local community and internationally.

“He gives back so much behind the scenes that people don’t see,” said Amanda Bell, Michal’s colleague.

The Norma Turnage Award, presented to Jean Bailey,  a female leader in the community dedicated to the growth and sustainability of the local Red Cross.

“[Bailey] has been the most loyal and dedicated leader for 50 years,” said Ann Mosley, Red Cross board member.

The Community Hero Award recipients included the Rocky Mount Fire Department’s Swiftwater Rescue Team & Hilo Aquatic Rescue Team, and the United Way Tar River Region for their long-standing services to the community and for their recent contributions to the Hurricane Matthew response.


The Centennial Breakfast took place at The Rose Hill Plantation and Conference Center, Thursday, June 1, 2017. (Photo by Garry Hodges)

“It’s humbling to receive this award, but it’s part of our job,”said Chad Pridgon, member of the Swiftwater Rescue Team.

Along with honoring the services of those in the community, the event also marked the 100 year anniversary of the Northeastern NC Chapter. The chapter has served the community through disaster services; blood collection; health and safety classes; and services to the armed forces. Barry Porter, CEO of the Eastern North Carolina region of the Red Cross, began the morning with a remembrance of the founding heroes Henri Dunant and Clara Barton.

Last year, the Northeastern NC Chapter collected 24,418 pints of blood, conducted 331 emergency services for those in the military community, trained about 3,500 people in preparedness courses, and responded to an estimated 270 disasters, including one of the worst disasters in North Carolina: Hurricane Matthew.

The event served as a formal thank you to both the past and present heroes, volunteers and staff alike, who have carried out the Red Cross mission for the past century.

Story by Andrea Gulley/American Red Cross


“Mama Queen” Helps the Red Cross Feed a Neighborhood

When the Red Cross emergency response vehicle pulled into the parking lot of the Kent Place Apartment complex in Whiteville, North Carolina, Carrie Jessup took charge.


Carrie Jessup of Whiteville, North Carolina

“Park over there, in the shade,” she commanded.

“They call me Mama Queen.  I just take care of them.”

Carrie was referring to her neighbors, most of them parents with young children.  “Mama Queen” helped distribute the lunches the Red Cross crew was there to deliver.

The bratwurst, baked beans, peaches and potato chips were prepared by the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief operation, in the mobile kitchen they assembled at the Western Prong Baptist Church.


As of Monday, October 17, the Red Cross and community partners had served more than 346,000 meals and snacks to the people of North Carolina who have been affected by flooding and other damage done by Hurricane Matthew.  5 kitchens and 111 emergency response vehicles have been mobilized, along with about 1,300 Red Cross workers.

80 meals were served at the Kent Place Apartments Tuesday afternoon.

“We appreciate your being here,” Carrie said.

The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief during disasters You can help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Photos and story: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Red Cross Volunteers Travel From Several States to Help in N.C.

Red Cross volunteers have come from all over the U. S. to help residents affected by flooding following Hurricane Matthew.


At the Western Prong Baptist Church in Whiteville on Thursday, October 13, volunteers from several states arrived in Emergency Response Vehicles to deliver meals prepared at the mobile kitchen set up by the Southern Baptist Convention.


A dozen states were represented by Red Cross volunteers, who traveled to North Carolina, some of them driving for days, to help residents by distributing food, water, and clean-up kits.

Volunteers came from Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.  They have been trained by the Red Cross to help deliver mass care during disasters.

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New volunteers can be trained to drive ERVs, run shelters, and many more essential services provided by the Red Cross during times of crisis.  If you’re interested, log onto to begin the application process.

Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Brunswick County Residents Stay Safe Inside Red Cross Shelter

People, Pets Find Refuge From Hurricane Matthew at West Brunswick High School

“I feel safe.”  Southport resident Sue Fogle made a point of seeking out Red Cross workers at the shelter at West Brunswick High school to express her appreciation for the treatment she and her husband and son received from the Red Cross and its partners.

“It’s not like I’m living in the lap of luxury, but it’s more than I expected,” Sue said as she spoke with Red Cross volunteer Margo Smickles. She said she expected to sleep on the floor, and did not expect to be fed, but she and all the residents at the shelter received cots, blankets, and three warm meals a day during their stay.


Red Cross volunteer Margo Smickles and Southport resident Sue Fogle at the Red Cross shelter at West Brunswick High School

Almost 100 residents stayed in the shelter at West Brunswick High Friday night, as strong winds and heavy bands of rain began to pound parts of southeastern North Carolina.  By mid-afternoon on Saturday, 120 residents were taking refuge at the shelter.  Many were drawn by the shelter’s long-running offer to house pets.

“It’s just something Brunswick County Animal Protective Services has been doing for a long time,” said shelter Manager Lori Bork.  In addition to the 120 people at the shelter, there were 12 dogs, 3 cats and two birds.  The animals were kept separate from the human population, in a room far from the sleeping area, and were monitored by Animal Protective Service Officers.

Other partners assisting the Red Cross with shelter operations included Brunswick County Social Services, Brunswick County Health and Human Services, the Brunswick County School District and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s office.

By Saturday morning, Sue Fogle and her family were among more than 18,000 people who woke up in 183 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters across four states, more than during the height of Superstorm Sandy.

More than 2,200 trained disaster workers, most of them volunteers, were mobilized to respond to the needs of residents in the path of Hurricane Matthew. More volunteers are needed. If you are interested in helping residents affected by Hurricane Matthew, click here.

The Red Cross also deployed 95 emergency response vehicles and pre-positioned 94 trailers stocked with relief supplies including water, ready-to-eat meals, cleaning items and comfort kits, insect repellent, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. As soon as it is safe to do so, the Red Cross will be coordinating with partners to support people as they return home. If someone needs to find a shelter, they can visit, check the Red Cross Emergency App or call 1-800-768-8048. The free Red Cross Emergency App gives users emergency weather alerts, safety and shelter information on their mobile devices. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief to residents affected by disasters like Hurricane Matthew. If you’d like to help, visit, or call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Holiday Provides Service Opportunity for Family

Kelly and Bobby Carter and Kelly's father, Evan Marion, talk to Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Specialist Josh Caine about their motivation for teaming up with the Red Cross to provide lunch to fire victims on a holiday.

Kelly and Bobby Carter and Kelly’s father, Evan Marion, talk to Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Specialist Josh Caine about their motivation for teaming up with the Red Cross to provide lunch to fire victims on a holiday.

Story by Tara Humphries, Chair of the Board of Directors, Wayne County American Red Cross / Thursday, July 4, 2013

KINSTON, NC – While some took the day off to celebrate Independence Day, others made it a day of service, including the American Red Cross and the Bridge Church, who provided lunch for the displaced residents of Kinston Towers.

Independence Day reminded one family of Bridge Church members of “the honor and privilege to be free,” according to Kelly Carter, who was volunteering with her husband Bobby, and her parents Evan and Laura Maryon.

It is “the ability to worship freely, too,” she said. “We respect that many have died to give us this freedom.”

Kelly, Bobby and Evan have special insight into the sacrifices others made for their country – all are veterans. Kelly and Bobby served in the U.S. Air Force and Evan was in the U.S. Army. Kelly and Bobby have a son in the Air Force, too.

“It is kind of our obligation,” Evan said of partnering with the Red Cross on a holiday. “It is a spirit of cooperation. We’re out here for the same general purpose – to help others.”

“It is never about us,” Kelly added.

Bridge Church members Bobby Carter (front) and Elbert Richardson grill hot dogs for a special Independence Day lunch for displaced residents of Kinston Towers.

Bridge Church members Bobby Carter (front) and Elbert Richardson grill hot dogs for a special Independence Day lunch for displaced residents of Kinston Towers.