Hurricane relief for the Atoigue's

33104762_1537492354856965_r.jpegAs most of you close to our family know, my sister Kristen, her husband Jason and two kids, Joshua and Emma, live in the Wilmington area where Hurricane Florence just made landfall.  Their home is in Burgaw, just north of Wilmington and it is situated across the street from the Cape Fear River.  Their little river community is a very tight family who are all used to the fact that the river can rise from time to time and they are usually equipped to handle it.  Their house was built on 12ft. pilings and when things like this happen the whole neighborhood has a known "higher ground" area they all help each other move their vehicles to so they can avoid damage to their cars.  Most residents will also tie a boat off to the outside of the house so they can get in and out during the rise of the river.  Kristen and Jason are always there to help the community when this happens.  In all of the storms they have been through in the past, the water would rise usually leaving around 4-5 feet between the house and the water.  Hurricane Florence hovered over the area for days dumping record amounts of rain, and this time the water rose to a level that not only crossed the threshold into their home, but then continued to rise pretty much to the top of their countertops.  Not only did they lose their home, the home their kids have grown up in and made memories in, but they also lost a lot of their possessions.   After they were rescued, they went to check on their vehicles to find that they lost their work van as well. They own their own small family business, S.O.S. Yacht Services and their work van had all of Jason's tools and boat supplies in it and it is ruined.  Luckily their family cars were okay, because for some reason they decided to park them at the Burgaw Walmart, so that is a huge blessing.   On top of all of this, the day they evacuated was also Emma's 9th birthday.

What is most amazing to me is after all of this, after losing almost everything, Jason and Kristen immediately joined forces with several different rescue organizations using their boat to help rescue people, and they have been doing so since Monday morning. They have been working on minimal sleep, saving people, pets, horses, livestock, you name it. Kristen has also been helping doing what she can on the sidelines trying to make sure rescuers have the supplies they need along with coffee and food. 

The kids were staying at a good friends house nearby, not really knowing the extent of what was going on until a client of theirs generously offered them their home in Wilmington until they can find a new place to live.  I have been online looking for rentals for them and it has been a nightmare because a lot of what was available to rent before the storm is now temporarily unlisted because, they too, have damage to repair and the fact that hundreds of locals also lost their homes makes searching for housing very difficult.  They do have insurance and hopefully FEMA will help them too, but I know that takes a long time, so I am reaching out to see if I can raise any help for them in this extreme time of need.  

Any amount no matter how small would help them get back on their feet and keep their business running.  Like I said they are a very small business and usually Jason works 12 hour days 6 days a week and as of now they have not been able to work for over a week and that is still climbing, leaving them with no money coming in, no work van or tools, and with long time loyal clients in need of service for their own storm damage.

One of the things required of a campaign like this is listing specifics on what the money would be used for, so here is what I know of so far that they will need:  A uhaul to remove all ruined items from their home to take to the dump, a storage unit for all of the possessions that did survive the flood, help towards a security deposit and possibly a couple months rent at a new place to live until their business is back up and running 100%, all of their family room furniture, living room furniture, all of their bedroom furniture, kitchen supplies that were stored in the lower cabinets, kitchen table and chairs, help towards replacing Jason's work tools and a new work vehicle.  As far as toys and regular clothes they did empty all of their dressers and move that along with the kids toys to the attic so those things are expected to make it however they did not get everything out of their closets so they do need shoes for all of them.  The water has not yet receded from their home so this is all I really know about right now but I am sure I could list many other things.  If you want to know more or see pictures of just how bad things are you can always look at the pubic posts on Kristen's Facebook page it is absolutely heartbreaking.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and if you have any questions feel free to reach out to me or my parents.   If donating to a gofundme page is not something  you feel comfortable with and want to help in other ways that is completely understandable.  Just let us know and we would be extremely grateful.  Thank you again it really means a lot for your support of my sister and her family.
  • Kathleen Huntley 
    • $150 
    • 36 mos
  • Bruce Backensto 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Gigi Garcia 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Scott Schulze  
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Cheryl Backensto Rutter 
Organizer
Raised $200 from 2 donations
Wilmington, NC
Brian Backensto 
Team member
Raised $600 from 4 donations
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