Valley church collects donations for Kentucky flood survivors
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Pastor Chuck Balsamo of Destiny Family Center in Stuarts Draft has been involved in disaster relief efforts for many years, but the flooding in Kentucky hit home for him as he has a friend in that area.
The church leaders decided to hold a supply drive and send a team to Eastern Kentucky to hand-deliver the goods. For them, this was simply answering the call of their faith.
”As humanity, we’re called to serve one another and that’s the greatest thing we can do,” Operations Director Tara Widener said. “There’s no greater love and no better way to show the love of Jesus than providing those needs.”
Church members were most impressed by the way the community showed up.
In about 48 hours, the church received over $5,200 and hundreds of donations like canned food, hygiene products, bottled water, blankets, and pillows.
“It was phenomenal,” Widener recalled. “Every time I would come by the church, there were just more items and more items. Then I would come back by and there would be more items.”
“When I got here at lunch, today, we only had a small portion of our foyer filled,” Secretary Jessie Hale added. “By the time two hours had passed the majority of our foyer was filled with items plus.”
Hale was most impressed by the various types of people who stopped by the church.
“I was seeing faces that I had never seen before. I was also seeing the faces of owners of small businesses and companies. Being able to see random faces and familiar faces.. this is exactly what the body of Christ is,” she said.
One couple had even survived a flood of their own in the past.
“I was speaking to one couple when they were dropping off their things. They had been through a flood, and they know it could happen to any of us,” Widener said.
The donation center will re-open from Sunday through Thursday.
Balsamo stressed the need for air mattresses.
“We hear there are lots of people who are sleeping in their garages, on tarps. Hopefully, this week, we can get quite a few more air mattresses, and we’ll be able to take those,” he said.
Ultimately, the crew hopes to be a light to those in Kentucky and feel the joy of fulfillment while doing it.
“We always try to get people to plug into making a difference because that’s when life really takes off,” Balsamo said.
“It brings me so much joy to partner with this church and with this community and go meet those people in Kentucky and just tell them We love you. We love the heck out of you,” Hale added.
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