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Water rescue in River Bend, NC by US&R NY-TF1 Bravo and partners.

Following the devastation of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, local officials and groups are stepping up to help out the human and animal victims alike.

According to state Senator Joe Addabbo, Senator Bill Rabon, who serves in the 8th Senatorial District of North Carolina, found that his entire district — which includes Brunswick, Bladen, New Hanover and Pender counties — was severely impacted by Hurricane Florence, with many places underwater. Rabon, who also is a veterinarian, saw that his house and his office were destroyed in the storm.

On Sept. 17, Addabbo reached out to Rabon to see what he could do to help. After speaking with Rabon, who was very grateful for the help, Addabbo decided that the best course of action was to host a supply drive for Rabon’s district.

“After Sandy came and left parts of my district in despair, we quickly went to work trying to get things back to normal. However, we didn’t do it alone,” Addabbo said. “We were supported by communities and people from outside of New York. I wanted to repay the assistance my district received after Sandy by helping others get through their tough situation in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.”

The drive will begin on Sept. 20 and end on Oct. 4. The drive will be collecting items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, soaps and shampoos, all of which Rabon and his constituents are in need of, as well as other products and Visa and MasterCard gift cards.

All items collected in the drive will be shipped down to Rabon for distribution.

“This simple supply drive will go a long way in helping the victims of Florence begin to get their lives back together,” Addabbo said. “I remember that after Sandy, donated items and gift cards, which allowed families to buy specific items needed, were extremely helpful. You don’t realize how important little things, like soap and toothbrushes, are until you don’t have them. This is a great way to help your fellow human beings in a time of great need.”

Those who wish to make a donation can drop off items at any of Addabbo’s three district offices: Howard Beach at 159-53 102nd St., Middle Village at 66-85 73rd Pl., and the Rockaways at 88-08 Rockaway Beach Blvd.

Ozone Park’s Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue, meanwhile, is also stepping up to help the pets that have been affected by the storm. The rescue has set up a GoFundMe page so they can raise money to help pets and their owners that have been displaced because of the storm.

“The devastation in the Carolinas is already crippling. Reports are pouring in from areas as they are being engulfed by the storm surge & brutally battered by torrential rains and wind,” Lori Carpino wrote on the GoFundMe page. “We will be working together on gathering supplies and donations this next week and driving them down to people & animals in Need who have been displaced on account of Hurricane Florence.”

The GoFundMe page has already raised $1,340 of their $3,500 goal at the time of publication.

Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue will also be collecting supplies for pet care. Supplies that are needed include unopened dog and cat food and treats, cat litter, food and water bowls, pet toys, flea/tick prevention medication, leashes and collars, pet beds, crates or carriers, water, cleaning supplies, wee wee pads, old newspapers, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, old towels and blankets.

The rescue will also be collecting hand sanitizer, rain boots, batteries, flashlights, garbage bags and Ziplock bags for pet owners. All supply donations can be dropped off in Ozone Park.

If you’re a Queens organization that’s looking to help the victims of Hurricane Florence, contact us with your information at editorial@qns.com.

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