Lumberton, NC – On October 29, 2016, the members of Zafa Temple No. 176, located at 2312 S. Alston Ave. in Durham, NC, departed on a trip to Robeson County, NC, to deliver donations to those impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
Zafa Temple No. 176, a subordinate body of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine headquartered in Memphis, TN, began to collect supplies shortly after the hurricane impacted eastern North Carolina. After an email challenge was sent out to the members by Illustrious Potentate Noble Sammy McCullers, the Nobles jumped right into action with donating and soliciting donations from the Durham community.
After establishing several drop off dates at the Alston Ave location, a total of 70 boxes and bags of toiletries and clothes were collected and prepared for delivery to where the most severe flooding occurred.
The disaster, which hit North Carolina on Oct. 9th, left a particularly deep scar across a part of inland North Carolina that was already the most economically vulnerable part of the state. More than 4,000 people were forced from their homes into hastily assembled shelters at high schools and recreation centers. Many lack flood insurance, health insurance or stable employment.
In some flooded communities, like Lumberton, the disaster also struck along racial lines: A white area of town was preserved, while a lower-lying African American part now stands in several feet of water. That disparity, also seen in some North Carolina towns after 1999 flooding from Hurricane Floyd, is the legacy of geographic segregation in which blacks were pushed toward less desirable — and often lower-lying — land.
Zafa Temple No. 176 has been a staple of the Durham community since 1946, providing community service and mentoring to the local youth, financial scholarships to students seeking higher education opportunities, and continually donating to the research and cure of diabetes and cancer.
PHOTOS: Renaldo Jackson