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Field Education Office Professional Development Workshop

BSW Cording & MSW Hooding

Ebone Morant10.28.2016

During the historic floods of October 2015, CoSW students lived the social work code of ethics: to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. One student, Ebone’ Smith-Morant, who works in Special Education with the Georgetown County School District, recounts her efforts to rebuild and empower her community.

One year ago, lives were forever changed. As I reflect, there are still an array of emotions filling my heart and mind. In October 2015, an historic flood devastated the rural communities of Georgetown County, SC. While weather forecasters and emergency officials kept residents abreast of weather-related information, no one could prepare these communities for what was to come.

The rain continuously fell and the local rivers seemed to flow uncontrollably.  The flood waters ran across roadways and filled homes. Emergency officials assisted us with travel, supplies, and medical care. After the waters receded and the emergency officials left, however, our community was left in disarray, dismay, and utter disbelief. Homes were destroyed, families displaced, roadways impassable, and many still in need of power, food, and necessities. And many unanswered questions. Although my home was still intact, my heart was broken for my community!

Instinctively, I jumped right into serving. We adopted the motto "United, we will recover." I joined with the community elementary school to establish a clothes closet to accept donations. We provided clothes, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food, and other essentials. Additionally, I assisted seniors with FEMA applications by interpreting the contract language. What a reward it was to help connect those in need to services such as energy assistance, home repair, clean-up efforts, and other areas of need. Above all, talking with flood victims seemed to alleviate some anxiety and provide a sense of comfort as they shared their stories of frustration and disbelief, yet thanksgiving!

Local churches and other community organizations united in efforts to rebuild, restore, and recover! Everyone was a family-working in harmony! Our community is still rebuilding. But, we stand strong and proud. "United, we ARE recovering."

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