If you’re in the U.S, you’ve probably heard about the recent natural disaster that took place in West Virginia. Over 30 people were killed and thousands more affected in some way after the recent rain creeks and rivers running high and overflowing their banks.
So last week, when I heard that my friend from school was going to make a trip to help with the cleanup, I decided to return to uni so I could join her. We went yesterday.
When arrived at the place to sign up as volunteers, I was a little nervous about what I was getting into. I didn’t know what to expect. But then I heard the attendant ask us if we were OK with animals. I let out a squeal (I’m embarrassed to say).
So off we were to a humane society to help out with cats and dogs (many of whom were displaced by the flood). We started off walking the dogs. The one I walked was smaller terrier mix named Champ. He was very rambunctious and it wasn’t long before I had paw prints on my clothes.
Then the director asked me to help out with the cats (since I have experience working at a kennel). I cleaned out cages and held the kittens (there were quite a few that were victims of the flood). I hadn’t held a kitten in so long and it was so good to give them attention.
There was older Maine Coon (when I saw him I compared him to Mrs. Norris from Harry Potter). His owner had passed and while his younger siblings had been adopted out quickly, he was still waiting on his forever home. If my financial situation was different, I would have looked into taking him with me.
After awhile, we were no longer needed so we headed back to agency to see if they had any jobs for us. They sent us to an area that had been hit the hardest. And it was shocking see the aftermath.
There was debris everywhere. On the side of the roads, washed up by restaurants and gas stations (where were all closed). Dried mud on the streets. And the creeks nearby were still running swift.
We went into the town of White Sulphur Springs which was a popular place for people who liked to golf. The golf course was littered with debris and the fence that normally divided it from the road was nearly gone. A long the way, we saw signs similar to this one.
We were assigned to one the residential areas near a creek that had overflown its banks. Again there was dried mud and debris everywhere. Many of the houses had water damage of some sort. My friend said that not much from the flood was salvageable and that the residents would have to start again.
The national guard was there to help with the clean up as well as many other volunteers. It was really cool to see people rally together to help the residents.
I tried to imagine this happening to me or my family and friends and I had a hard time doing so. I felt so bad for the community and I was glad that I could do something to help.
I may be going into IT but it will always be a goal of mine to help people when I can. I feel like if I’m just floating around, doing my job, that I’m really serving much of purpose. So I always volunteer when I can.