Fike teacher, students provide relief ahead of storm

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When Carolyn Traore heard a knock at the door Wednesday, she knew God had answered her prayer.

“I’m so touched,” she said. “I’m teary-eyed. I really feel blessed.”

Traore was one of several Bruce Rose Plaza residents who received bottled water and five to six days worth of food ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Many were blessed Wednesday afternoon thanks to various community members, Fike High School teachers and students.


Fike High School English teacher Kimberly Howard said when she first heard about the storm earlier this week, she knew there were people in vulnerable situations.

“My first instinct was that there are a lot of people in Wilson who need help and are forgotten,” said Howard, who also is a Chick-fil-A Leader Academy adviser.“Not because anybody is selfish and doesn’t want to help, but some may not have family members or anybody in the area who can help them.”

Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is a national high school leadership program.

Howard said with the avenue she has through Wilson County Schools and many local students, she knew she could gather a multitude of items to help the elderly.

She and her student volunteers bought supplies including gallon jugs of water, canned goods and breakfast foods.

They reached out to the Wilson Housing Authority, which provided a list of residents the volunteers could assist before the storm. Traore was one of them.


On Tuesday, Traore headed out with a friend to get extra water. They went to several places.

“We couldn’t get water,” Traore said.

But she had faith.

“Lord, I know you will provide,” she prayed. “I’m not going to worry about a thing.”

Her friend, who provided transportation for her on Tuesday, couldn’t help her Wednesday to look for more water. He had to go into the hospital due to a medical problem. After Traore missed the bus Wednesday afternoon in hopes of finding more water, she got a call. It was the Wilson Housing Authority telling her about the blessing that would be at her doorstop soon.

“That’s why I was teary-eyed about the whole thing,” Traore said. “I was just thanking the Lord, and I’m going to keep thanking him.”


Sixteen-year-old Shayla Willingham, a Fike junior who is also a part of Chick-fil-A’s Leader Academy, said she was overjoyed that she was able to help others.

“It shows me that I’m blessed with what I have and it means a lot to help other people who don’t have what I have,” she said.