Benefit concert to help tornado survivors

May 16, 2011 10:09:49 AM PDT
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker says tornado victims still need help. Now, he hopes a little music will bring in more relief money.

Meeker held a news conference Monday to announce a fundraising concert June 3 at the Raleigh Amphitheater.

"All the money is going to four local charities, including Helping Hand Mission, Interfaith Food Shuttle and a couple of others," said Meeker. "It's all going to help people. None of its going to the administration. It will be 100 percent directly to people who need help, particularly for food, clothing, things like that."

Meeker said the event is called Rise up Raleigh, and that's exactly what he says he hopes people will do.

"We're asking people to donate $20 if they can, up to $100 if you are able to do that and then we'll easily raise our $100,000 goal," said Meeker.

Meeker said Raleigh based band The Conells will headline, along with a full slate of other bands.

Click here for more information about the bands and other concert info

It's been one month since deadly tornadoes tore through much of North Carolina.

The April 16th storms left 24 people dead and millions of dollars in damage in 18 counties. Insurance adjusters say as many as 6,400 homes were damaged or destroyed.

On South Saunders Street in Raleigh - one of the hardest hit parts of the city - residents said Monday that the cleanup continues.

Gilda Bisbond lost her home.

"It doesn't even seem like a month. It seems like it's been two, three months. Because I mean, my own life has been just flipped upside down. And I don't know what to do, I don't know who to - every time you call, somebody, they give you the run around. They send you around, they send you here, they send you there - I don't know what else to do," she said.

Bisbond's been living in a hotel, waiting to move into a new home on Friday. Meanwhile, the bills are adding up, and financial help has been hard to come by..

"Where's it at? I'm sure not seeing it. I don't know about other people, I can't speak for them. But I'm not seeing it. I don't know. Where's it at? Every time you look on the news, and look on TV, they're doing fundraisers, but where's the money?

Brisbond isn't alone. Many other storm survivors contacted by ABC11 haven't found a permanent place to live. And, piles of debris remain across the Raleigh area - powerful reminders of the storms' path of destruction.

And for many, the recovery process has been just as painful as what they've lost.

A mother and her son, who were living in NC State graduate student housing after their Stony Brook home was destroyed, told ABC11 it hasn't been an easy journey for them since the storm.

"It feels like we're homeless," Gerson Cruz said. "You don't have nothing. Right now, I feel like living in a nightmare."

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