If you or your buddies or your co-workers or your family are looking to get in on the action, today is the day.
The Union County Fairgrounds will be open from noon until 4 p.m. today to collect the everyday items that we take for granted but are so desperately needed right now by our fellow Americans in western Kentucky and bordering states.
Unless you’ve been living on Gilligan’s Island for the past month, you’ve heard the news about the unprecedented line of tornados and thunderstorms Dec. 10. As many as 30 tornadoes mauled their way straight through about 200 miles – a Iine that would reach from Columbus to the far side of Pittsburgh – of middle America, most of it in and around western Kentucky.
Over two weeks has passed and there are still hundreds without electric or running/potable water in the disaster area and hundreds more who are living in a house or trailer that has a tarp covering the half of the dwelling the storm left standing.
Most meteorologists had never heard of storms such as these outside the classroom, yet there they were on Dec. 10 watching a literal horror show in real time on radar and satellite feeds as the storm sliced a straight line though Kentucky like a hot knife through butter. It was so destructive that 14 counties in Kentucky alone got immediate – as in the very next day – FEMA aid following the carnage.
Readers of the Union County Daily Digital know that a number of Union County residents got together and threw together an impromptu “drive-thru and drop-off” donation depot for the desperately needed supplies in disaster areas, the list of which has been plastered all over the UCDD and Facebook and Twitter and has exactly what you would expect to see on such a list (see below).
Once the word got out about the success of first “drive-thru and drop-off”, the rest of Union County asked to jump in head-first to see how they could help. The Marysville Division of Police and the Marysville Fire Department established drop-off ‘depots’ at their various stations, as did the Allen Township Fire Department, the Leesburg Township Fire Department, Ostrander’s Midway Market and Chapman Ford.
The original “drive-thru and drop-off” collected enough necessities to fill 2/3 of semi-trailer that was donated by Piper Contracting, Inc. The original truckload was already supposed to be on its way to one of the scores of villages and towns in Kentucky that were bludgeoned by the super-storm.
But Union County residents wanted another shot at it, so the delivery of necessities from the good people of central Ohio was postponed to give them more time to fill up that last 1/3 of the trailer.
That postponement ends today. Local organizers would have much rather had the “drive-thru and drop-off” collection on the weekend, but the sad fact of the matter is that our fellow Americans in Kentucky can’t wait. They need this stuff yesterday. People are hungry and hurting today. Every minute counts.
I half-assed tried to get someone “official” on the phone in the disaster area, but as electric is still out a lot of places, and a lot of cell towers are now twisted into corporate art, this was not an easy task. When I finally did speak to someone from FEMA, I was asked to leave a number and very pleasantly but hurriedly told they would try to get back to me.
I told the young lady I spoke to forget it and didn’t leave our number, said may God bless and let her get back to doing real work. I doubt that I have any questions for any spokesman that haven’t already been asked and answered a million times.
On a few calls, I asked what was needed on the ground right now and the answers were pretty much the same: Batteries of all sizes, toddler-sized/pull up diapers, bottled water, and, at the risk of incurring the brunt of your puritanical wrath, feminine hygiene products, i.e. tampons and pads. If your embarrassment or the existential threat to your manhood keeps you from tossing a box of tampons or a bottle of Monistat into a shopping cart next to the bottled water, deodorant, and chicken noodle soup, please onion up and join the 21st century.
Those depots items that were collected over past several days will be delivered to the Union County Fairgrounds between noon and 4 p.m., after which goodbyes will be waved and the donations will be headed for the Bluegrass State.
Again, today’s “drive-thru and drop-off” at the Fairgrounds today from noon to 4 p.m. is for open to the public who are encouraged to fill up a shopping cart of necessities, toss them your trunk and drop them off at the Fairgrounds. Please enter and exit at the Main St./State Route 4 gate. Follow the well-marked route through the Fairgrounds and you will find volunteers, who will be helping unload cars and trucks, count and organize the donations, then load them on the trailer that is making for Mayfield, Kentucky and points beyond.
Orange and yellow vests
Matches or lighters
Flashlights and batteries
Hand warming packs
Dry/shelf stable milk
Contact solution and cases
Childrens Tylenol or Motrin
Diabetic food or testing supplies
All toiletries (TP, toothbrushes and paste, hand, body and laundry soap, etc)
Feminine hygiene products
Gallon or larger jugs of water
Cases of bottled water
New towels and washcloths
Can openers (remember that much of the town remains without power)
New socks and underwear
Large trash bags