Family Fleeing Florida For Carolinas Needs YOU

Local Woman Opens Home to Irma Evacuees

By Shawn Mussington Hall, Greensboro Macaroni Kid Publisher September 15, 2017

Two perfect strangers became fast friends through tragedy. The past week has been trying but made more bearable for Wadia Harvey and her children ages 13, 12, 8, 6 and 3 due to the kindness of a stranger opening her home. The family could use all the help they can get as they prepare to head home and rebuild their lives. They need gift cards to national stores like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Rooms to Go Furniture, BP Gas, and Shell.  Of course, VISA and Master Card gift cards are welcome too! The family does not have room to transport food or clothing donations in their small truck. No amount is too small so please come out to be a difference maker for this family!

 Portia will open the doors of her foundation at 2200 East Market Street, Suite B in Greensboro, NC 27401 on Thursday, September 21 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. to receive all donations. Special thanks is owed to Gabe’s Heart Foundation ( for sponsoring this article as a part of their Random Acts of Kindness campaign.

It’s no secret that Hurricane Irma ripped through Florida earlier this week, sending thousands of residents scrambling to find safety. One family thought that they would find shelter in New Jersey but ended up in Greensboro. Wadia Harvey, a resident of Lakeland, Florida and mother of five was absolutely terrified of the impending storm and didn’t know if she should stay or evacuate. 

“I am originally from New Jersey so I wasn’t sure what to do. It wasn’t until I heard lifelong Floridians say that they were leaving that I got scared,” said Wadia.  She called a good friend to seek advice on what to do being that she is a single parent. Her grandmother lives in Florida but left the week before for a funeral in New Jersey.  Herr mother lives in town but couldn’t afford to evacuate.  Wadia was in a bind and she knew it. Her friend told her to sit tight while he tried to figure out what he could do to help. He went in to his boss’ office, got down on in his knees and begged her to listen.  What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.

Portia Shipman, founder of the Sherrie Denise Jackson Foundation for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Inc. ( in Greensboro, was trying to close the office for the weekend. When her employee got down on his knees and begged her to listen, she didn’t know what to think. He began to tell Wadia’s tale of fear and uncertainty due to Irma closing in, she knew she had to help.

“I remember what it was like to be a young mother of 4 with no help. I knew that I couldn’t leave this woman in Florida alone and scared, recounts Portia Shipman.

She contacted Wadia to see how she could help. Wadia fought back tears and she told Portia that she was alone, scared and had no money but knew that she would be alright if she could make it back to her home state of New Jersey. Portia sent her $200 through Cash App and told her to stop in Greensboro on her way to New Jersey.  As Wadia packed up the children and started on the highway towards New Jersey, the highway was packed and littered with abandoned cars that ran out of gas. She grew more fearful at the thought of running out of gas and not having anyone to help her or the children so she made her way back home.  Her plans were to get some rest and start again at 5 a.m. when she hoped the roads would be clearer. She called Portia and told her she was headed her way. Portia planned to have a warm bed ready for Wadia and her children where they could rest before continuing to New Jersey, however once she opened the door and met Wadia and the children, she knew they HAD to stay. The Harvey family of 6 have been with the Shipmans since last Saturday.