The dramatic images in Kentucky continue to be felt across the nation. Lives lost, homes destroyed, and communities changed forever.
Hundreds of miles away, in the small hamlet of Endwell, New York, one church is leading a charge to support a mission far beyond their community.
In the days following the flooding, Dave Alexander brought his core group of volunteers together to do their part in supporting those effected - with supplies going to the Red Bird Mission in Kentucky, which sits in one of the poorest areas of the state.
“We have a dedicated crew that love doing mission type stuff. The Red Bird mission, since we’ve started doing it here, has become a big passion for a lot of people. They want to be a part of it. They want to help out,” said Dave Alexander, donation coordinator.
Volunteers are gathering cleaning supplies and personal care items which will eventually be hand delivered to Kentucky.
Tom Scheibner is no stranger to helping out the Red Bird mission. He, along with volunteers like Alexander, have personally delivered donations in years past, and they’ve seen what they can do for those in need.
“They’re just happy to have the availability of goods we bring down. The pastors are taking stuff out of the front door as we bring them out the back door. It is a real need we’re filling, and now even more,” said Scheibner, volunteer.
This community is unfortunately no stranger to mass flooding. In both 2006 and 2011, rising rivers wiped out homes and destroyed communities.
It’s a feeling that hasn’t left to this day, and one these volunteers are keeping in mind as they give back.
“I’ve lost just photos and things of families. My mom had passed away and I was saving it until I had time to sort it out, and they’re gone now. Just to lose photos is one thing. To have the whole life upset is pretty devastating,” said Scheibner.
The connections these volunteers have made with Kentucky over the years is one that keeps them pushing forward, especially in times like these.
“I think after going down there and seeing how people are living and then seeing what is on the news as far as all the destruction, it brings it full circle and you just feel all the more passion for what you want to do,” said Alexander.
The supplies will be hand-delivered around Thanksgiving.