Relief Supplies Delivered To Kentucky Friday, January 21

January 24, 2022

Reported by: Kyle M. Moore

Covington, VA – On December 10, 2021 tornadoes struck the Midwest and the South. Among those areas was a small town called Mayfield, Kentucky. Mayfield is a town of approximately 10,000 people. On that deadly day 77 people lost their lives and many, many more were injured.

It was shortly thereafter that I decided I needed to do something to try and help out. So, I decided to begin a supply drive. I contacted my pastor, Pastor Brad Armes and expressed my desire to do this. He agreed that we could use Covington Baptist Church as a drop off point. I posted the plan on Facebook, Big Country Radio station and Pastor Brad contacted local churches to inform their pastors. I then reached out to the Kentucky State Police, public information office and was put in contact with Lone Oak Baptist Church (Mrs. Becky Keeling) and asked what was the need. She provided me with a list of items that were needed. These included toiletries, paper products, non-perishable foods, batteries, flashlights and cleaning products. Becky also said that it would be a good idea to not deliver the items immediately as they had a large amount that was arriving daily. So I decided to deliver in January, this would allow for them to get the immediate assistance to the people that needed it and I would not be in the way.

Almost immediately items began to arrive and it didn’t take long before we had a huge pile of donations. Churches were dropping off donations, people were sending me messages on facebook and dropping things off at my home. I was so impressed with this community and its generosity. Rich Patch Union church donated a check for $1,000 and Edgemont Presbyterian church dropped off $2,600 worth of Wal Mart gift cards. Gift cards are a great donation, since the person can take the card and get exactly what it is that they need. A quilting group from Lexington, VA called Sassy Stitchers delivered 164 hand-made quilts. Many, many more people and organizations donated to the cause. They are as follows:

It was decided that I would deliver the items on January 21, 2022. I mapped out my trip and it was 531 miles one way. I decided that I would make it an overnight trip. So, on the morning of January 21 at 4:00 am I met with my friend Jerry Morgan, who had contacted me and asked if I needed a shotgun rider for the trip and we left Covington and we headed west. We arrived in Paducah, Kentucky around 12:30 and was met by Becky and her helpers (Kentucky National Guard Soldiers). They unloaded the trailer and we had a long talk with Becky, who gave us directions to the Hotel we would be staying in.

We then dropped off the trailer and went to Mayfield, which is about 20 miles away. I desperately wanted to see Mayfield. When we arrived in Mayfield, we immediately were met with something that neither one of us had ever witnessed. Total devastation is what we saw. We saw an entire town that was destroyed. Homes, banks, businesses and churches gone, we saw construction crews demolishing what was left of buildings. We saw piles of debris that were taller than some of the buildings. Volunteers that were feeding the workers were also there. Needless to say, on this day it was barely above 20 degrees and the wind was blowing, but that was not stopping the relief effort. It was so sad, knowing that the people who lived here would never see the town that they once knew. The children would never know the school that they once attended and the people would never get to go to church in the same church that they grew up in. In one area we saw a concrete foundation and a sign of the First Presbyterian Church. The sign stated that it was Mayfield’s oldest church and was founded in 1832, the church was completely destroyed. I saw a home that was completely destroyed except for the tornado room, which was located in the center of the home. I saw a stump that a volunteer had taken a chain saw and carved out a cross in the wood. I saw American flags everywhere and I felt a certain kind of warmth when I was there. I was sad, but also glad to see the true American spirit and I knew that Mayfield will rebuild. While walking around Mayfield, Jerry stated to me that he would like to retrieve some of the wood from trees that had been damaged during the storm. Jerry is a wood worker by hobby and he is planning to make communion sets for each church that was damaged. The items will either be delivered in person or by mail.

I truly feel blessed to have been able to do this and to possibly help someone, who lost everything that they have. When I was a young child my family’s home was destroyed in a fire and we lost everything that we had, so I do know what it is like to have a community surround you with love. It is my prayer that God will continue to bless me to be able to do more missionary type work like this in the future. We are truly blessed in Covington and the Alleghany Highlands to have so many people that are so selfless and put others in front of themselves when tragedy strikes.

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