Two weeks after Superstorm Sandy ripped through the area, many stories of good neighbors, caring strangers and those helping others are circulating through social media and shared by everyone. While it is impossible to mention all of the good deeds, here is a sampling of how in West Virginia neighbors help neighbors.
In Tucker County, middle school leadership students jumped to action in the aftermath of the storm to help others in need. Students were part of the Tucker 27/7 program through TC-Drug Free.
Those helping out after the disaster include Jeffrey Snyder, Kelcee James, McKinley Murphy, Aliyah Plum and Cameron Mullenax.
Tucker 24/7 member McKinley Murphy does her part following Superstorm Sandy by cleaning at Camp Kidd in Tucker County.
"On Tuesday after the storm, the students were eager to volunteer their help," said program advisor Stephanie Murphy. "Students met with the city trucks to help clear brush and branches, and helped clean up the debris."
Murphy said students spent the evenings at Camp Kidd helping serve dinner and prepare for breakfasts.
"They gathered at Camp Kidd at 5 a.m. and helped prepare the meals and serve," Murphy said. "The students also helped wash and scrub dishes, clean around the camp and prepared desserts."
Murphy said students involved in the program receive positive feedback and feel more involved in their communities.
"Those involved in giving service gain a positive feeling," Murphy said.
Meanwhile on Tuesday after the storm, a Department of Highways crew, under supervisor Davey Oldaker, worked to reach the Randolph and Tucker County line on Route 219. Oldaker said his crew worked very hard to clear snow and debris from the roadway.
"We were directed to work toward the county line by the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management," Oldaker said. "As we cut our way through, many residents were out helping clear the roads."
Oldaker said by the time they got to the county line, his crew and the six or eight other people with chainsaws had helped 15 motorists.
"These cars had been stranded overnight by downed trees and snow," Oldaker said. "No one was injured, fortunately."
Oldaker said he and his crew were just doing the right thing. Members on Oldaker's crew include Jimmy McCloud, Drew Thomas, Jeremy Fisher, John Tallman, Scottie Harman, Brian Owens and Tom Sheffelbein.
President of Davis & Elkins College G.T. "Buck" Smith said he received many thanks from parents for the college's response in helping the students weather the storm.
"Thank you for the diligent efforts to keep the students comfortable and safe. Our hat's off to you and the rest of your staff.
"Thank you for the regular, informative and reassuring updates. They have been greatly appreciated and have helped put our minds at rest. Can you also pass on our sincere thanks and best wishes to all the staff and helpers at D&E who have tirelessly worked to look after our loved-ones even though they and their families have had to bear the effects of Hurricane Sandy too."
D&E had a large portable generator at the Madden Center, providing lights, cell phone charging stations, heat and delicious hot food, freshly prepared for every student unable to safely make it to their homes.
Members of the Elkins Rotary Club, Elkins Alternative Learning Center and Randolph County Schools worked to set up five locations for the Community & Compassion Food Drive. Big Lots, Kmart, Walmart, Shop and Save Express and Erickson's Service Station hosted drop-off locations for collecting food.
"It is just amazing how much support we received," said volunteer organizer Angie Wilson.
"On Thursday, the people of Moundsville brought a van stuffed with canned goods and non-perishable items to help restock the food pantries. They also gave us money to purchase food."
"On Friday, I found out Doris Buffett's Sunshine Lady Foundation is donating $10,000," Wilson added. "I am overwhelmed by the generosity."
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.