On December 10, 2021, a violent, long-tracked tornado moved across Western Kentucky, producing severe to catastrophic damage in numerous towns. Crossing through eleven counties during its lifespan, the tornado was exceptionally long-tracked, traveling165miles.
With the Christmas season in full swing Local 776 member Rich Stover and his wife Linda were stunned as the amount of destruction unfolded before their eyes on the local television news station. While talking about the situation and that something needed to be done Linda and her friend Lisa Weiss decided to act. Lisa, who had previously worked with Charity in Action contacted the Emergency Management Agency in KY and received a list of needed supplies, from hand tools, power tools, and household clean-up supplies to generators, work lights, extension cords, and wheelbarrows. Lisa’s husband Tim, who is the Deputy Fire Chief of the Bryn Athyn Fire Co, donated a bay at the firehouse for the donation storage and assembly area. Once word got around town by way of the local news media donations began to snowball, from both individuals and local businesses. As the number of donations continued to increase, Linda went in search of a truck to move everything to KY. Here is where Rich got involved; the cost of renting a truck and having it driven to KY would have used almost all of the monetary donations collected, which Linda was hoping to provide to the relief agency in KY. Rich got Linda in touch with Local 776 President Ed Thompson, who didn’t hesitate to jump in with help. Ed agreed to supply the truck, the fuel, the tolls, and the driver; in this case, it would be Rich, to move the relief supplies to KY. The Warriors Watch motorcycle rider’s organization heard of the relief effort and offered a motorcycle and local police escort for a portion of the trip. Rich left PA with a fully loaded trailer on December 28th. Upon arrival at a warehouse that was being used as a staging area for relief supplies, there was plenty of help to get the trailer unloaded and Rich on his way back home, arriving safely on December 30th.
Commented Local 776 President Ed Thompson: When disaster strikes we are often called upon by the Red Cross for help in moving relief supplies. This was the first time that the relief effort was a “homegrown” endeavor. Rich and Linda, along with Linda’s co-organizer Lisa, did a commendable job in stepping up, getting the ball rolling, and working out the logistics of collecting, palletizing, loading, and finally getting the load where it was needed. I would also like to thank the many individuals and businesses that generously donated supplies to make this a successful relief effort.
The fire station bay quickly filled with donations
Someone remembered the kids!
A local business provided the use of a forklift to help load the truck
With a Police escort and the Warriors Watch leading the way Rich is ready to head for KY
A warehouse was being used by the local Emergency Management Agency to store, sort, and distribute the supplies
The workers had the truck quickly unloaded and sent Rich on his way back home!
The truck says it all!