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For Immediate Release

Sherman the Raccoon Helps Families Cope

Hope4NC Supports Thousands

Sampson County, NC, March 22, 2019

Residents of coastal North Carolina continue to feel the impact of Hurricane Florence.  For six months, Hope4NC teams, comprised of Easterseals UCP experienced staff, have been helping the communities in Wayne, Lenoir, Sampson, Duplin and Wilson County learn to cope with loss, displacement and issues following the devastating hurricane.

Thanks to Hope4NC, a program created by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, free crisis counseling is available to Hurricane Florence survivors.  Easterseals UCP was selected to help carry out the mission of address the mental and behavioral health needs in the aftermath of a disaster.

Hope4NCThe Easterseals UCP Hope4NC school team, which includes a child specialist, two licensed counselors, and their friend Sherman the Raccoon, have been visiting local elementary schools.  During these visits, the team presents the story, “A Terrible Thing Happened.”  In the story, Sherman is impacted by a terrible event and he learns some helpful skills on how to cope when difficult feelings arise. The Easterseals UCP staff and their furry friend are breaking through to children by encouraging them to talk through the difficulties.

In 2016, Hope4NC selected Easterseals UCP after Hurricane Matthew to aid residents of the Goldsboro area with prolonged trauma and anxiety as they dealt with the flooding and damage. Many survivors were just recovering from Hurricane Matthew when Hurricane Florence hit. 

“Many communities are exhausted from the process and finances to rebuild are in short supply. As tensions increase, the support through Hope4NC is vital in recovery during daunting times. The Hope4NC teams are in eastern North Carolina communities every day and have assisted thousands of families,” said Melissa Harrell, Hope4NC Regional Project Manager at Easterseals UCP.

Get help by calling a counselor at 1-888-702-7853.  
The 24/7 crisis hotline is 855-587-3463.
For more information, contact Melissa Harrell, Hope4NC Regional Project Manager at 919-709-6619


Easterseals UCP provides meaningful and exceptional services so that children and adults living with disabilities and mental health challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities.

 Learn more about Easterseals UCP at www.eastersealsucp.comSign up for the Easterseals UCP eNews.



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