HENRYVILLE — It didn’t take long for the flood of volunteers to make their way into Henryville, Marysville, Borden, Pekin and surrounding areas last March.
The outpouring of support from organizations like the United Way, March2Recovery and the Red Cross was immediate, but six months after the tornadoes that struck March 2, 2012, the bulk of volunteers had gone. Many organizations maintained a presence through area churches and March2Recovery, which was a collective organization that formed to help coordinate the myriad volunteer efforts.
Within a day of the deadly EF-4 tornado, a team was organized to run a 115,000-square-foot warehouse at River Ridge Commerce Center that was set up as a collection and distribution site for various items by the Adventist Community Services Disaster Response team.
The warehouse served as a collection point for donations; the items were collected and sorted and then shipped out when communities notified the group what was needed at various distribution points throughout Northern Clark County.
Joyce Blake, who served as warehouse manager for Adventist Community Services Disaster Response, said the warehouse was running two trucks full of items each day to the area locations. After three months of running the warehouse, Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster took over the operation. And in June, Clark County took the remaining items and housed them in a different warehouse.
“We would have stayed probably longer, but the people who let us use the space were anxious to sell it or lease it,” Blake said.
Former Clark County Commissioner Les Young said when the county moved the remaining donations out of the space, the majority of items that remained were items for babies. The warehouse was moved once more and has since closed.
“We kept that going until around November,” Young said. “The only remaining item was water, which was given to the Red Cross.”