At a car wash in South Carolina, the mayor of Mullins is managing yet another call for help after Hurricane Matthew.
Since disaster struck the town of 5,000, William “Bo” McMillan has worked non-stop, trying to help, says David Hudspeth, a Mullins city administrator.
“His car wash is like city hall. People are just as likely to go or call him there if they need something. He really is the face of this town. He just loves this place and wants to do everything he can to make things better.”
The mayor is more humble. “This is the city of my birth and it’s a wonderful place. As mayor in time of crisis, my role is to try and keep people safe and informed. People can live through a lot as long as they know they’re not the only ones, so communicating with them is my main focus.”
McMillan is also a big help connecting people with American Red Cross when they need help, or want to donate somewhere. “I tell people that, of course, they can send money wherever they feel like, but if they send it to Red Cross, everybody will get the help they need.”
Recently, a local auto sales company owner called the mayor because he wanted to raffle a 2013 Ford Fusion and donate the proceeds to charity.
“He asked me what organization the raffle should support, and I told him that if he really wanted to make a difference then he should consider Red Cross,” said McMillan, who volunteered for 10 years on the board of the local Red Cross.
“One of the most rewarding things that I have done is work with Red Cross. When all is said and done, you just have to look at its mission. They help everybody and do not discriminate. Red Cross is there for you. In my experience of 10 years, I know that to be true.”
While talking with constituents around town recently, McMillan stopped for a long while to commiserate with friends from nearby Nichols, another town hit hard by flooding after the hurricane. “They lost just about everything. I am going to see what I can do,” said the mayor.
Looking on, Hudspeth said: “Even if they aren’t from this town, people will reach out to Bo. We don’t really observe city limits around here when people need help.”
Dropping in at the local Chamber of Commerce, executive director Lisa Michelle Nance gave the mayor a brief update before he headed out to assist someone else.
“That man has a bottomless heart for this town. He has been amazing. I don’t think he has slept for days. He’s trying so hard to find ways to get people help.”