This year was a special birthday for Ashley Shirey, because after losing her home and belongings in Hurricane Matthew, she got some new furniture.


“This is a birthday blessing for me, so it makes it even more special for me,” Shirey said.


After finding a new home and relocating from Kinston to La Grange, Shirey said her home is finally coming together.


“Now that I’m going to get beds and other furniture for my kids my house can finally come together and be a home again,” Shirey said,


Members of the community affected by the floodwaters gathered Monday afternoon at the Kinston Church of Christ to receive new furniture from the church’s disaster relief program.


Sherl Cox said it has been a long few months moving forward after losing her home and belongings.


“We’re one step closer to our house,” Cox said. “It’s been a lot of stress, looking for a house and then you finally find one, then you have to wait for furniture but things are coming together.”


The shipment of new furniture for more than 20 families was donated by Church of Christ Disaster Relief of Nashville, Tenn. The distribution in Lenoir County has been coordinated locally by the Church of Christ here and the Lenoir County Unmet Needs Committee.


“It amazes me that people care enough about other people to do something like this. It brings my thoughts of humanity back,” Shirey said.


Ivan Monroe, donation organizer, said the Church of Christ Disaster Relief comes together across the nation to help those in need during and after a disaster.


“Right after the hurricane and the flood we had a truckload of food supplies and cleaning supplies, so this is the second trip they’ve made here,” Monroe said.


The donation included furniture and appliances. Monroe said the appliances will be delivered on Friday.


June Cummings, executive director for the Lenoir-Greene United Way, said the Unmet Needs Committee has been working to put those in need with the resources available.


“We are putting together a proposal that will hopefully result in a long term recovery organization that will be around and stay in place,” Cumming said.


Michelle Taylor may be reached at 252-559-1073 and Michelle.Taylor@Kinston.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @MTaylorKFP.