RALEIGH, N.C. -- Thanks to some federal disaster employees, the holidays should be a lot cheerier for some of Hurricane Floyd's smallest victims.
Employees at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Raleigh field office are busy organizing a holiday toy drive for children affected by the hurricane. The toys, which have been collected for the past week, will be distributed to children of flood victims by the Salvation Army's Greenville chapter starting December Fifteenth.
The drive is the brainchild of FEMA Human Services Officer Paul W. Fay, Jr., who organized a similar effort after Hurricane Fran in 1996. "A lot of these kids have not only lost their homes and their toys, they've had their whole lives turned upside down by this disaster," said Fay. "This is something we can do to help to brighten their holiday."
For the past few days, the field office has been abuzz with word of the toy collection effort as employees dressed as Santa elves walked through the large, warehouse-type structure spreading the news. "It's been great fun, and we've gotten a quick response," laughed FEMA Elf Amy Rhodes as she placed toys in the collection box.
FEMA's Raleigh disaster field office is the central administrative office for the agency's North Carolina recovery operations.