This spring and summer, our partners throughout Appalachia were forced to cancel or postpone long-planned projects, but in many cases were able to adapt and innovate their programs in creative ways to continue to serve their communities. In addition, understanding the great need of families and seniors in distressed Appalachian communities, we were able to send emergency food relief and hygiene kits to many of our partners thanks to our supporters.
In McDowell County, Big Creek People in Action had no choice but to cancel its longstanding summer camp program which dozens of kids look forward to every year. While nearly 50 children were disappointed at first, they were thrilled to receive our Summer Fun Boxes instead. Each box contained sports equipment and toys to enjoy outside including basketballs, Nerf footballs, jump ropes, water sprinkler toys to keep them cool and lots of other fun items!
In Hancock County, TN, one of the poorest in the state, our partner Of One Accord was not about to let hundreds of children go hungry this summer. Even though children living in rural communities were not be able to board its Lunch Box Bus, a mobile cafeteria on wheels, Reverend Sheldon Livesay and his team were still able to feed hundreds of kids.
The buses continued to operate delivering healthy bagged lunches to every child who came out running from their homes as the buses arrived in their neighborhoods this summer, and this is the last week the buses will be visiting their neighborhoods.
Thanks to our supporters, we were also able to provide Of One Accord with the funding they needed to purchase a cargo van through our Operation #FeedSneedville Match, which will help hundreds of Sneedville residents obtain food they desperately need right now. This van will enable volunteers to reach families miles away and provide them with food boxes weekly.
To our supporters, Sheldon says,"We are so appreciative of Americans Helping Americans and the great work you are doing.”
Thanks to our supporters, we were able to ship “Pallets of Hope” to our partners in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia containing hygiene items including bars of soap, hand sanitizer and diapers for growing families with infants and toddlers.
In addition, “Pallets of Hope” containing thousands of boxes of frozen food were also shipped to many of our partners for distribution to grateful families.
The coronavirus outbreak has left many communities crippled. We are lucky the virus itself hasn’t directly impacted the communities we serve but the economic and social impacts the states have had to take in necessity to curb the spread of the disease has altered much of rural American life.
There is no telling at this point whether or not projects postponed will be taking place this year, but we can hope. It’s not the first time these communities have faced hardships and as long as they have hope they can continue to overcome. Americans Helping Americans will be there to help.
Thank you for standing with us!