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United Way, churches looking to help
Line at United Way for relief items
People line up for help at the Coastal Empire United Way - Liberty County Branch on Tuesday. - photo by Photo by Tiffany King

Cleanup and relief efforts from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew continued Tuesday.

The United Way of the Coastal Empire-Liberty branch, disbursed disaster relief items Tuesday afternoon. Items including toiletries, blankets, wipes, water, soup, bread, shelf-stable milk, a military food voucher, gas cards and gift cards to Food Lion.

That effort will continue against today at 10 a.m., according to Jennifer Darsey, executive director of the United Way-Liberty branch.

Lori McCampbell, United Way volunteer and campaign co-chair, said the United Way is focusing on helping provide the essentials such as fuel, food and shelter, and more than 50 people came to the United Way within an hour of the start of the relief effort.

First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, off of Rebecca Street, gave out food to people affected by the storm Monday afternoon.

Pastor Sinclair Thorne said he was contacted by Larry Logan, deputy director of the Liberty County Emergency Management Agency, that day and asked if he could open his doors and provide food to the community because the Red Cross was unable to help.

Thorne agreed, and the church served about seven people who had just heard about the food giveaway.

From 2 to 4 p.m., First Calvary provided sandwiches, snacks, Ramen noodles, chicken soup, bread and yams.

Providing food is nothing new to the church. Every second Saturday is the church’s food share program, where they give food, according to the size of the family, and as much clothing as people want to the community.

Other churches also looked for ways to help. Live Oak Church announced Tuesday it was providing a free hot meal for residents  Tuesday night; additional churches in Liberty and Long counties reportedly also provided free hot meals for families in need.

Damage to sanctuary

The hurricane reached coastal Georgia Friday evening as a category 2 storm with winds over 100 miles per hour. Power lines were entangled and brought down by falling trees, knocking out power to neighborhoods, transformers exploded, roads signs were bent and twisted, fences broken and many homes left damaged.

One of the many places that had damage was First Presbyterian Church of Hinesville. A tree fell onto the roof of the sanctuary, creating unwanted skylights. Some of the pews were damaged from the parts of the roof falling in, there is water damage to the carpet and cushions.

Lucy Peables, church treasurer, said she thinks the church will have to replace the carpet and some pews.

Peables was outside Monday cleaning up tree limbs and other debris on the property.

The tree was taken down Sunday and sawed into pieces.

The sanctuary’s tin roof, was replaced a few years ago, Peables said, and she hoped the same color tin can be found to avoid replacing the whole roof again.

“It will take us a while. God’s been good to us so far,” Peables said. “We just have to be patient and work hard.”

As of Monday the power was still out in the sanctuary and Sunday service was held at the church’s social hall in another building on the property. Peables said if anyone wants to donate to the church for roof repairs to please stop by.

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