Best Buy employees volunteer during time off to help hurricane survivors

Best Buy employees volunteer during time off to help hurricane survivors

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Geek. It’s a title many Best Buy squad members wear proudly and the Geek Squad is known from coast to coast.

However, a group of local Best Buy employees are flying under the radar. Their label the past several weeks has been Volunteer Squad.

Employees at Best Buy in Wilmington can be found using their talents to help local residents bounce back from Hurricane Florence.

Best Buy’s corporate office is working to ensure the damaged store on South College Road is open by mid-November. The electronic big box staple took a severe hit from Hurricane Florence and has been closed for about a month.

Best Buy did not say “later” to its employee base though. More than 100 employees are still taking home a paycheck while the store is being rehabbed.

Several employees have been tabbed to work at other stores in Jacksonville and Morehead City and others are being paid by the company to perform community service in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

“It’s sort of nice that they can still fulfill people’s needs by going out in the community and it may not be working on a computer or someone’s electronics, but they help the community and the things that they need with," Best Buy Operations Manager Sean Lynge said. "The geeks are there to always help people and that’s what they’re going to do.“

It’s an effort that people are noticing. US Housing Secretary Ben Carson was in town earlier this week, along with several other Washington big wigs. A debrief of storm damage and relief efforts was held in the Best Buy parking lot.

Shortly afterward, Carson’s staff sent this tweet:

Ben Carson tweet on Best Buy
Ben Carson tweet on Best Buy

Several organizations have been able to take advantage of the added Best Buy workforce. Samaritans Purse, the Cajun Navy and Catholic Charities are just a few.

“The volunteering, helping the community, I’m only new down here, a couple years and I haven’t been to a lot of places so going to see the disaster areas and everything and helping out, it’s great to help out the community,” Best Buy member Tina Avery said.

Thursday morning, squad members were at the Coca-Cola plant in Wilmington with members of the Harrelson Center. That organization is made up of a group of non-profits working to make Wilmington and the surrounding area a better place to live.

“So not only are they helping other people, but Best buy is empowering their own to come out to help but to also help their employees," said Emilie Hart with Catholic Charities. "That’s incredible.“

Until the Wilmington Best Buy reopens, employees will continue hitting the streets, lending a hand to different agencies to help Wilmingtonians get back on their feet.

If that’s the definition of a true geek, Lynge says she’s OK with it.

“There’s a lot of charities that are still in Wilmington and have been here this entire time that we’ve been able to go to and give our manpower and our time,” Lynge said.

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