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Hot meals served to cold neighbors

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 7th, 2012

Shown above from left is Taylor County Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Knotts as he receives 200 hot meals provided by the Red Cross Sunday afternoon. To Mark’s left is Red Cross Volunteer Wanda Seay, who traveled to Grafton with her husband Tom, who drove the Red Cross Truck. At far right is local volunteer Joann Jones. Visible in back and overseeing everyone’s hard work is Bob Knotts of the Haymond Community Center.

GRAFTON – Taylor County Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Knotts reached out to rally several local volunteers Saturday afternoon, when he announced that the American Red Cross was headed to the Oak Grove area to distribute hot meals to those still without power. Knotts notified a couple key volunteers to contact others, as well as, posted the request and announcement through various social media outlets, like Facebook.

Nearly 30 local residents arrived at the Oak Grove Baptist Church to meet the Red Cross. Among the residents present to aid in the delivery was House of Delegates member Mike Manypenny and Taylor County Prosecuting Attorney John Bord.

Those gathered at Oak Grove were not gathered to eat, nor to take food for themselves. Each representative was there to help prepare the food, and then deliver it to his or her neighbors.

The volunteers prepared over 150 meals, as they braved the cold in the parking lot of the Oak Grove Baptist Church. As the meals were prepared, they were quickly loaded into volunteers’ vehicles and delivered to the different areas still without power.

Walesca Marrero, Director of the Taylor County Collaborative Family Resource Network and founder of Taylor County Project HOP2E, was dispatched from Oak Grove with her SUV full of bottled water. Knotts explained that many in those areas do not have city water and thus depended on their wells for drinking water. “Without electric, they don’t have water,” commented Marrero.

Helping Marrero deliver water were Harley West and Nathan Bernarde of the Wilson Ridge Church of Christ. As the group later reorganized and continued their efforts from the fellowship room of the Wilson Ridge Church of Christ, both West and Bernarde reported on storm damage in the areas to which they had traveled, emphasizing the number of power lines still on the ground.

“There were several places that the power lines were laying right in the road,” noted Bernarde.

Before leaving Oak Grove, Tom and Wanda Seay of the Red Cross, notified Mark Knotts that they would be returning twice Sunday, delivering both lunch and supper to those needing it.

As volunteers later continued preparation of meals at Wilson Ridge, Mark Knotts made arrangements with Bob Knotts of the Haymond Community Center for use of that facility Sunday for the serving of the meals. Volunteers delivered food Saturday afternoon to Oak Grove, Cherry Run, Turner Road, Wickwire, Thornton, Wilson Ridge, as well as, Garrett Mills Apartments.

By noon Sunday, the Red Cross was at the Haymond Community Center to deliver another 200 hot meals. Volunteers were once again stationed at the community center to serve as many as would attend.

For the complete article see the 11-07-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-07-2012 paper.

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