The Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA was offering free lunches of hot dogs and hamburgers, hot showers and free access to the Y’s programs on Tuesday to thousands of people still suffering with power outages after Hurricane Matthew.
Burgers sizzled on the grill outside as families lined up.
“Once we got power we were like, ‘OK, now we’ve got power’ and we wanted to at least have a chance for people to come here and get out of the house if they’ve been cooped up for that long,” said Matt Dempski, CEO of the YMCA Coastal Carolina. “Just come here and at least get a lunch. And we’ve got classes (people can come and) get some energy out.”
A local hotel offered the Y some towels for anyone who came in for a shower without one. A local resident bought some ice for the Y. The community was coming together.
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“We were closed as of Wednesday,” Dempski said. “We wanted to make sure everybody got ready or (had a chance) to evacuate. Once we were able to be open and it was safe for everybody to come in, we stepped up.”
“All we keep hearing is,‘thank you, thank you.’ And all we can say is, ‘great,’ ” he said.
The YMCA in Georgetown was also offering hot meals and free showers. The Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA will be offering free showers again Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“We had some families from Murrells Inlet come here and they were without power. Just the friendships and the camaraderie of people here,” Dempski said, as residents shared hurricane survival stories over plates of hamburgers behind him.