West Liberty, KY (March 15, 2012) – Recovery after a major disaster requires a number of aspects, among them is the ability to return to work. For residents of Morgan County where tornadoes devastated much of the downtown commercial area, along with numerous homes, this is a significant challenge.
“The building’s just gone…we couldn’t go to work even if we could get there,” said Tony, a West Liberty resident lamenting the double loss of his automobile and his job. “But we’re lucky, our whole family is safe,” he added, struggling to find a bright spot.
The bright spot for many Morgan County residents shines on Lion Apparel, the largest non-governmental employer in West Liberty. “We were spared the damage and loss so many others suffered,” said Dorothy Adams, the Lion Plant Manager and life-long resident. “We have dedicated employees; our shifts were full as soon as the lights came back on.” Adams noted that a handful of employees had lost their homes or cars; and all have gone without electricity for several days. “We make protective, ‘turn-out’ gear for firemen all over the world—its important work, but it isn’t easy.”
Jessica, another Lion employee shared about the importance of morale to an effective workplace and the affect a hot, nutritious meal has on that morale—that’s where The Salvation Army comes in. For more than a week now, as part of the on-going relief efforts for the survivors of the tornadoes, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) canteens (mobile feeding units) have been delivering and serving meals to more than 200 works each shift at Lion Apparel.
“We know getting back to some semblance of normal is an important step toward recovery,” said Major Darrell Kingsbury, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army’s disaster efforts in Eastern Kentucky. “And you can’t have your mind on work when you are trying to figure out what you’re going to eat because you don’t have utilities to cook or to keep food in your house—if you even have a house.”
Trained Salvation Army EDS volunteers prepare for the lunch break lunch with rows of meals and quickly ladle bowls of cream of chicken soup, thick with protein-packed chicken. ‘Thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ are repeatedly exchanged along with ‘God bless you’ passed in both directions.
But ‘Thank you’ in Lion Apparel is more than words—no matter how heart-felt. The employees put their money where their mouth is; giving even through their own loss. They took up a collection as a gesture of thanks; handing over a bag with more than $300 to help with continued relief efforts…along with a hand-crafted note.
The Salvation Army and Lion Apparel both do important work and both have a part to play in the recovery of West Liberty & surrounding communities; it is only natural that they would be working hand-in-hand as Morgan County comes back together focused on the future…knowing that today’s needs are met.
For the latest news about Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services or to make a donation in the support of those impacted by this disaster, please visit: www.disaster.SalvationArmyUSA.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
You may also help by texting “storm” 80888 to make a $10.00 contribution to the relief effort. The donation will appear on your next mobile phone bill.
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About the Salvation Army: The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.About The Salvation Army