ELIZABETH CITY -- "We never thought that this would be this big, and we're so happy," said Myrtle Rivers as she directed some of the activity outside Holy Trinity Community Church Tuesday.
Rivers' son and daughter-in-law, Kirk and Nina Rivers, put together the event to benefit victims of the tornadoes that hit the area last week.
People brought donations of food, clothing, and water. Victims were able to share their specific needs while volunteers at the event tried to match them up with resources and groups that could meet those needs best.
A choir performed songs as a way to uplift the victims while they got the information and the help they needed.
"There's a need here, you know, this is a small town, and word gets around fast, so, you know, we run," said Eugene Watts with Amen Ministries. "Whenever there's a problem, we, you know, we try to take care of and do what we can to help."
At Checkmates on East Colonial Avenue, business owner Kendell Ferebee also is collecting items for tornado victims. Ferebee opened up his club Tuesday night as a shelter for people who may have been concerned about tornado watches earlier in the day Tuesday.
"The reason that I did was because I had family members that got affected by the storm on last Friday," explained Ferebee.
"He is an amazing person, and he's not gonna say he is, but he is," Paris Kephart told 13News Now. "He was concerned for the community, and he was just, like, 'Lock the liquor up. We're not making no dollars. If anybody wants to feel safe, I want them welcome here."
People wishing to donate do the Checkmates drive can drop items off at the business which is located at 400 East Colonial Avenue, Elizabeth City. Other drop-off sites include Great Clips, Lola's Hair Designers, and Friendly Checks of Edenton and Elizabeth City.
For information about how to help with the Riverses' effort, call 252-267-1616.