Hurricane evacuee thanks Barnwell residents

Dear Editor,

It is with deep gratitude I write to thank the residents of Barnwell for rolling out the welcome mat for the evacuees of Hurricane Matthew.

I am not sure why I was so blessed to end up at your shelter, but I will always be grateful.

The churches spoiled and fed us like we were visiting royalty (haven’t heard of anyone else in a shelter having a full-on smoker cookout). I think I gained five pounds with all the tasty desserts - yum!

Department of Social Services set up the shelter and had things running around the clock in partnership with the Red Cross. And the best part is they were all so nice and welcoming. I am sure it was not what they had planned for the week but there they were, working hard with big smiles for all.

Then there were the sheriff’s deputies. What a comfort to feel safe and secure knowing that they were watching out for us. Officer Rodney Brown even went above and beyond and was mopping the floors to make it neat and clean - now that is hospitality!

The town of Barnwell could have very easily had an evacuation center at the elementary school and let the system handle everything, but instead, in the true spirit of community, you opened your doors to strangers with love.

Thank you from a very grateful grandma, who could have been alone and afraid, but instead felt like a kid at camp (with better food).

Big hugs to my new Barnwell friends,

Jacque Carbiener,

Hilton Head Island