I took part in a flood response meeting today, at the Emma Quire Mission Center in Owsley County. It was inspiring to see so many partners and community leaders coming together to deal with a crisis. Flooding throughout Eastern Kentucky was devastating. At least 63 homes in Owsley County were flooded, just days after power was restored after an ice storm, during a pandemic. Linda Witt, director of the Emma Quire Mission Center, and an Owsley County native, said, “It’s going to take all of us holding hands on this project.” In addition to our team, Brian Varble, CBF Kentucky disaster response coordinator and his predecessor, Charles White, Michelle Carrol, FBC Frankfort, associate pastor of missions, and me, Linda called together, the pastor of FBC Booneville and the pastor of Booneville UMC, the mayor, city clerk, and a member of the city commission, and leaders of Eight Days of Hope rapid response team, and Cassie Hudson, executive director of the local Partnership Housing, Inc., who volunteered to coordinate repair efforts. What seemed like an overwhelming task, suddenly felt doable with this willing and capable team, ready to bring their experience, expertise and networks to the aid of flooded neighbors. Though not literally, because of Covid, we were “all holding hands,” as Linda suggested we would need to do.
We will be accepting teams soon and will have more details soon. To volunteer contact:
Brian Varble (firstname.lastname@example.org), Michelle Carroll (email@example.com), or Keith Stillwell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Keith Stillwell, Together for Hope Regional Vice-President for Appalachia