‘We’re here for the long haul’: Volunteers offer free food to flood survivors

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Jul. 29, 2023 at 8:05 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2023 at 11:24 PM EDT
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - On Saturday, David’s Legacy and Operation Letcher County Recovery joined forces to serve flood survivors.

More than twenty volunteers helped cook, pass out food, clothes and school supplies for people in the Fleming-Neon area.

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday

Following the one year anniversary of the historic flooding, David’s Legacy Founder Tonya Charlton said the people there still need help.

“There’s things that we take for granted that they still need. And it’s humbling to be able to give such small things and know that it’s huge for them,” she said.

Which is why she brought her team from Laurel County to volunteer.

She said after coming again, it has made her open her eyes.

“If you want to realize how good you’ve got it, this is the place to go. And maybe, if nothing else, it’s gonna open your heart to start giving something back,” she explained.

Founder and Coordinator of Operation Letcher County Recovery Garry Conley said they are celebrating the survivors and their resilience during the past year.

”This is our fifth trip, we’re calling it Recovery 5.0 and this one, we’re calling a survivor celebration. We knew three months ago that this was gonna be the day of the one year anniversary and we wanted to be here for that,” he explained.

He said they knew they needed to come back.

“Everybody saw the news reports, everybody said, ‘This is terrible, I wish I could do something.’ And we decided we’d bring the food, the barbecue grill and do something and it’s turned into a coat drive, book drive, clothing drive,” he said.

However, he said they are not done. He said they are already planning their next trip in October.

“We’re here for the long haul, this is our fifth trip, we’re already scheduled for an October visit, somewhere before Halloween to come back and do the same thing. We’ll probably have a coat drive then once cold weather is going to be getting here and these kids are going to need these coats again,” he said.