By Harla Jean Biever New Hope Resource Center Board Member
When a strong windstorm hit the community of Riverside on July 23rd, it blew down or topped over 300 trees and severely damaged or destroyed 44 mobile homes in the Riverside Village Mobile Home Park (RVMHP). Instantly, scores of people were left without electricity, running water, or even places to sleep.
New Hope Resource Center Director, Jeaneen Leachman, who already knew many of these people, went to RVMHP to assess their needs, both immediate and long-range. Volunteers from churches in the surrounding area joined together to provide meals each evening for two weeks for 60-80 people. Scores of local relief agencies joined the effort to assist the residents. A Presbyterian Disaster Aid Grant was immediately approved that provided $5000. that launched the Riverside Task Force. Water and electrical services were restored.
The Task Force came under the umbrella of New Hope Resource Center. Well over $20,000 dollars has been donated and the Methodist Disaster Relief Fund has agree to provide another grant for Director, Jeaneen Leachman, to continue as a case worker. Hopefully, the debris from this disaster will be cleaned up, folks that were affected will find places to live, and lives will return to normal.
A sense of an enlarged community with new bonds with our neighbors is a testimony of a group of people rising to an occasion of need for so many folks.