Help for the Hodges

33310034_1538188222275198_r.jpeg33310034_1538188236847179_r.jpeg33310034_153818825119147_r.jpeg33310034_1538188264609534_r.jpeg33310034_1538188301411058_r.jpeg33310034_1538188322232977_r.jpeg33310034_1538188331472332_r.jpeg33310034_1538188339808595_r.jpeg33310034_153818835114055_r.jpegWe are the Hodge family: Josh, Mel, Kaia, Alana, Leilani, and (Scout).  On Saturday, September 8, our oldest, Kaia, explained how much fun she was having tracking a hurricane in school.  We nodded our heads and asked some more details and continued our drive to the beach.  This was the first we had heard of a nearby hurricane.  
               Two days later, on Monday, we received word that the girls' school was canceled for the rest of the week because of the Category 4 hurricane headed our way.  School doesn't get canceled like this.  Maybe for a day or two, but not an entire week.  We were told this was so people had time to evacuate.  We are southern, coastal, Carolinians, we don't panic at hurricanes, and we don't evacuate.  
                This one sounded different.  EVERYONE was evacuating.  Should we too?  Our power will be out probably for a good while, so maybe we should.  The girls are out of school and we are supposed to be celebrating our 10 year anniversary this week.  Let's go to New York!  Make a fun trip out of it!  We emptied what we could of our fridge, knowing most certainly we would lose it and brought some important things up stairs ( just in case ).  We did not expect that we would not have a home to return to.
             September 13, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary.  September 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, NC.  Hurricane Florence dumped 8.04 trillion gallons of water on North Carolina.  This was too much for the poor little drain in the parking lot outside our front door.  Our townhome is also on the downslope of that parking lot, and did not stand a chance.  We were told by neighbors that stayed, that the parking lot, along with the front of our home was submerged under waist high water.  We were enjoying time with family and seeing the sights of New York City, unaware of the catastrophe.  
             September 20, with roads flooded and still no way home to Wilmington, we received an email stating, "With heavy hearts we need to inform you that your apartment home has sustained a lot of damage from the hurricane and has been deemed inhabitable.  Please return home as soon as possible." Three days later, we crossed our fingers and ventured home even though our governor, friends back home, DOT, and emergency workers strongly urged us not to.
                  Our entire downstairs was flooded and Hurricane Florence stole the place we had called home for over 6 years.  At this time, our family of 5, plus dog, are living out of suitcases and assessing our next steps.  We are safe, and that's what matters.  However, we are in need.  
               We were evacuated from home for 13 days.  We had also spent a week cleaning, recovering and packing.  During this time, we were not able to work.  Being self employed, when we are not working, we are not making money.  We suffered a lot financially by just leaving home.  We lost the obvious, furniture and household items, some of which were sentimental.  While we were away, our property management hired companies to extract the water, rip up our carpet and run heavy duty equipment 24 hours using our electricity.  Of course, they did what they had to do, but the electric bill on our end was a heavy undertaking.  We have had to rent a storage facility, lost a lot of groceries, and use a lot of gas going back and forth between our home, storage facility, and parent's house where we are staying at the moment, all of which are on other ends of the city.  When we go to look for another home, rent will be exponentially higher.  
               With income loss and items lost in the flood on top of extra expenses we have and will have to take on, we are hoping to raise $4000.  This will help our family stand back up on our feet and move forward from this unfortunate event.  If you would like to help in other ways, gift cards for groceries, gas and household items would be appreciated.  Our girls are starting to feel the weight of it all, especially our oldest.  If you would like to send cards or letters, or any other type of mail that you think would lift their spirits, you can send them to:

P.O. Box 4772 Wilmington, NC 28406

We love you all and ask for you to send your prayers towards Wilmington, as many we know and are close to have suffered as well. Although this event was tragic, we have felt a great amount of love and generosity and see all over our city people helping people, and it is a beautiful thing!

With love!

The Hodges
  • Heidi Stuhlmiller 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
  • Tyler Hodge 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
  • Megan Mitsuda 
    • $1,000 
    • 37 mos
  • Craig Rutt 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 38 mos
See all


Melanie Hodge 
Wilmington, NC
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