The Nelson County and surrounding communities stepped up ahead of Thanksgiving to keep families in Eastern Kentucky warm as they continue to face the aftermath of devastating summer floods.
Nazareth organized a drive to collect new portable heaters, blankets, Hot Hands and winter coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to be distributed to families in Eastern Kentucky. During the collection from Nov. 16-19, 18 volunteers and OMA staff pitched in to collect and sort donations. The volunteers braved the bitter cold as donations continued to trickle in over the course of three days. The items collected during the drive were then taken to Jackson, Kentucky on Nov. 21 and were distributed to the community by the Breathitt County Public Library.
“It was really wonderful to see how much was collected at the end of each day,” said Ellen Sprigg, assistant director of the Lay Mission Volunteer Program. “On delivery day, as the volunteer teams were unloading the truck, some local people joined in to help. A few people stopped by that were in need and we were able to distribute some heaters, blankets, coats, hats, gloves and socks to a family of six who had no heat in their home.”
Sprigg said each person they encountered during their visit to Jackson was struggling or had family members or friends still facing much hardship from the after-effects of the July flood. Many in the community are still working to restore their homes and property and are making do with what they can as winter arrives.
“There is no doubt that every item donated will find a home where it is needed and appreciated,” Sprigg said.
Items collected during the drive include:
Hot Hands: 203
Ear Muffs: 13
Misc. donated items: 78