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March 3, 2013

BOUNCING BACK: Charitable assistance nearly complete, but still needed



The family lived in the chicken coop until December, when a trailer that was donated had been renovated.

“March2Recovery has been really good to us,” he said. “They’re still asking us if we need anything. They still want to help us.”

But Blevins is hesitant to take any assistance now.

“It would be just my wants,” he said. “I’m not in need of anything.”

He added that there were others in the area that were still in need.

During the initial recovery efforts, even with their home having received major damage, Blevins and his wife helped out at a kitchen set up on Henryville-Otisco Road that was feeding residents and volunteers helping with tornado cleanup.

“The people needed help,” Blevins said. “So we kind of put our needs ... on the back burner because there were people affected a lot worse than we were.”



Kathy O’Day, case manager supervisor with March2Recovery, said one of the major driving forces in the recovery effort had been the area’s churches.

“We have so many different churches that are adopting our families,” she said. “We’ve been getting the needs met by the volunteers.”

Jenkins said the bulk of his church’s outreach efforts were limited to the church itself and its related congregations. He explained that instead of connecting into the system, the church wanted to remain independent in order to spread gospel as part of its aid.

“I didn’t link up with a lot of organizations,” he said.

However, the church still partnered with groups like March2Recovery and the United Way during the cleanup. The bulk of the church’s aid came from Southern Baptist Convention churches, and its mission teams were in Henryville as quickly as the day after the tornado, Jenkins said. The Southern Baptist Convention has a disaster-relief team in every state, and initially a lot of money from the Southern Baptist Convention and the Monroe Township Trustee went into replacing damaged windshields.

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