A note from Heather Hanna, who is running the fund drive for relief to the flood devastated areas downstate that you all helped with:
John has kindly offered me the opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you. Please allow me to tell you a few stories that will not be on the news. The first major issue encountered in the small town of Rainelle was where to put the bodies. There was no way in or out of the town so they had to find a temporary holding facility for their deceased. An entire family in White Sulphur Springs was missing for 2 days following the beginning of the flooding. They were found in a pond in the center of a golf course. There are still bodies trapped in cars submerged in so much mud that they cannot get to them. This is the reality of the situation here. Lives lost. Homes lost. Businesses lost. Jobs lost. Entire neighborhoods are gone. The damage to infrastructure is unfathomable.
My husband and I were residents of the Ohio Valley until 7 months ago. We visited this community one year ago and fell in love. From the moment we arrived as visitors and then as residents we were welcomed with open arms. This is truly the kindest community I have ever encountered, and I am a well-traveled woman. We upped stakes, sold my small business, put our house on the market, and moved to Greenbrier County. Now here we are, and our new community has been decimated. I want you to know the kind of people you are helping. There are a lot of donation centers handing out food to the homeless and first responders and volunteers. One gentleman recently reached the front of the line and was given an entire loaf of bread. Much to the confusion of the volunteer distributing food he refused to take it. He opened the loaf and removed two slices. He informed the lady that’s all he needed to hold his slice of bologna and asked her to give the rest to someone else.
I’m sure that the majority of you have no ties to this region, or for that matter, West Virginia as a whole, other than your association with J.C. Please know that your kindness is going to benefit a good and decent people in dire need of help. May your kindness be returned ten-fold.
Y’all are good people.