Dozens of volunteers are back in Clendenin with just a week-and-a-half until the two year anniversary of the 2016 floods. Hundreds of homes and businesses still need help with repairs, and Tuesday high schoolers from Kansas are doing just that.
A small Clendenin church has sat virtually untouched since the 2016 floods.
“A huge opportunity. Most people would look at it as a nightmare but we looked at it as a huge blessing and as another opportunity to be able to serve,” Appalachian Regional Mission Coordinator Lonnie Maley told 13 News.
This week Lonnie’s Praying Pelicans team drove in from Kansas to help put the church back together.
“It’s been tiring, we’re at it all day. But it’s a lot of fun, you make a lot of memories, and they’re like family to me,” Kansas volunteer Kimerly Dankyi explained.
They’re also painting sidewalks, and repairing an elderly woman’s home. She is enrolled in the RISE program, and was promised money, but has since been left behind.
“We’re here, we’re not going anywhere, we’re committed,” Susan Jack of the Greater Kanawha Long Term Recovery Committee (GKLTRC) told 13 News.
Praying Pelicans is partnering with the GKLTRC to absorb the organization. They’re headquarters will be in the church that they’re repairing.
“Greater Kanawha Long Term Recovery, that’s a donation-funded organization. Ultimately, at some point that funding runs out, and we were kind of getting to that, we’re getting 2 years in and we were kind of getting to that period- and along comes Praying Pelicans,” Jack explained.
“We were blessed to get a property that we can use, to house teens, bring teens here, have a home base for them. We’re going to call it the dock, cause pelicans land at the dock,” Maley added.