Lacey United Methodist Church Offers A Warm Welcome
Volunteers offer dinner; entertainment to follow later this evening
The smell of chicken fills the air at the Lacey United Methodist Church. Tables are set up with flowers and evacuees are greeted with a warm welcome.
Only seven elderly residents sought shelter at the church by approximately 6:30 p.m. hoping the storm would pass and they could return to the comfort of their homes.
“This is a lovely place and there are caring people,” a woman who asked to remain anonymous said. “They have an excellent cook. My husband wants to take him home.”
Her daughter, a resident in Connecticut, was searching for a shelter for the couple. Several of the area shelters are currently full and she came across the Lacey United Methodist Church.
A resident of Forked River, she lives on the water, where most people evacuated.
“Most people had places to go to. Some of the younger ones stayed,” she said.
By her home, there had only been heavy rain up until the point she left. She arrived at the shelter with her husband and came prepared with food, bedding and more but left everything in the car because the church provided for them, she said.
“This is terrific. They’re very well prepared here and they make you feel welcome,” she said.
Rose Curto of Lanoka Harbor arrived at the shelter calm and ready to ride the storm out.
Curto used to own a place in Florida. “I’m used to this. We used to just sit it out,” she said.
With low lying property near the water, Curto had to seek shelter.
“I would be floating,” she said.
The Lacey United Methodist Church is open to all residents and is pet-friendly as long as the animals are contained in cages. The volunteers recommend bringing bedding.