ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (WNCN) — The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and people in the Roanoke Rapids community are giving back to those who lost everything in Hurricane Ian. A group of volunteers recently returned from Fort Myers, where the hurricane hit.

For Tracy Story, helping others is a gift — a way to change the lives of not only those who receive assistance, but also those who give it. It’s why the Roanoke Rapids business owner started a nonprofit.

“It’s called The Rewritten Story Foundation,” he explained. “When there’s a need, we’re able to fill it.”

Hurricane Ian created a tremendous need in Fort Myers.

Halifax County Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Wood joined Story, who is also a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s office. They and several other volunteers, including Chris Rolfe and Dennis Keeter, collected donations and went to Ft. Myers to help however they could.

They collected two entire box trucks full of donations and made the drive to Fort Myers, where they donated supplies to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

“It doesn’t matter what agency they work for, what state they are in, you know, we are all family,” Wood said of the law enforcement community.

“There were some tears — there were a lot of hugs,” added Story.

The group also helped people whose homes had flooded, including a Lee County deputy.

“Everyone’s home had 4 to 5 feet of water in it, so everything had to be gutted,” Story said. “None of their belongings were salvageable. I mean refrigerators, washers, dryers, couch, beds, everything. I mean they had nothing.”

Keeter described the trip as an “unforgettable moment.”

While the volunteers will never forget the devastation they saw, it is the kindness they’ll remember the most.

“Just the gratitude that we got,” Wood said. “The hospitality they showed us. They fed us while we were there. I mean they lost everything in the storm, and they’re cooking us burgers and stuff — it was incredible.”

“It’s definitely a positive reflection of people in general that we can treat each other like that when the chips are down,” added Rolfe.

It’s one of the reasons Story says he continues to help communities in need whenever possible.

“Just when you think humanity sometimes may be questionable, it’s not,” he said. “It’s still out there, and there’s really a lot of good people.”