Commit To Caring

#HelpingHenryville.

#HelpingHenryville.

The past week has been a flurry of motion and emotion. It’s hard to process all that has transpired, but what we already know is that several Southern Indiana and Kentucky communities need our help.

In the coming weeks, media attention on the March 2 outbreak will wane, but if the response to the catastrophe by ordinary people is any indication, the support for the affected towns isn’t going anywhere.

Thank you to those who took the time to participate in The Voice-Tribune’s March 3 donation drive for Henryville Community Church. Senior Pastor Rich Cheek continues to give us daily updates on how that initial relief effort involving his church has already affected lives.

Pastor Rich Cheek and Angie Fenton.

Pastor Rich Cheek and Angie Fenton.

One little girl was handed a soft, blue blanket from the massive load of supplies and started sobbing when she was told she could keep it. The snuggly throw had been packed into the back of the semi we loaded after being contributed by a young Louisville child.

Two older gentlemen made their way to the church shortly after we’d unloaded all of the trucks and headed back to Louisville. They broke down when handed cash to fill up a gas tank. The money was from a last minute collection the Pleasure Ridge Park basketball team, coaches and parents asked us to present to Pastor Rich.

The stories are endless. They’re inspiring, too. They’re also evidence that the situation is immense. The only way Kentuckiana will recover is if we commit to helping one another.

Ante Up For Adam

For much of the past week, Adam Underwood has juggled his job as general manager of Wick’s Pizza Parlor & Pub in New Albany with coordinating numerous outreach efforts into the devastated areas of Southern Indiana.

Almost immediately after the March 2 tornado outbreak, Wick’s and The McMahan Group offered to donate $10,000 of food to the stricken areas nearby, particularly Henryville. Delivery after delivery, the staff – including big-hearted owner Michael Wickliffe – has continued to make good on that promise, feeding hot slices of pizza to volunteers, emergency personnel and those whose lives have been irreversibly changed.

Adam didn’t get a chance to visit Henryville until Tuesday afternoon. “There was so much destruction all around you up there. The first thing I thought was I couldn’t believe the strength of the people there. I felt if that would have happened to me, I would have just given up, and then you look around and you see people from all walks of life – from the construction workers to the volunteers to the people who live there – pitching in.”

Adam Underwood.

Adam Underwood.

The experience, Adam said, “ makes you feel human again. It makes you realize it’s so simple: You see people in need and you help.”

He plans to do just that on Friday night at “Helping Henryville And Beyond,” a benefit concert Wick’s is hosting at its New Albany location.

On that evening, Adam (who sports a stellar beard) has offered to allow master barber Jay White of Market Street Barbers (owned by Bennie Pollard) to give him a full-on shave – for the right price, that is. He won’t shave it for anything less than $300 in donations, which will go to Henryville Community Church, though the consensus among The Voice crew is that his hairy handiwork is worth far, far more, if for no other reasons than his commitment to those in need and his desire to add a bit of levity to what has been a heart-breaking week.

“It just seemed like in the midst of all this craziness and this heartache and everything, it seemed like something fun and lighthearted that I could do that would sort of take the seriousness off the situation while still raising some money,” he said.
Sure would love to see people ante up for Adam and what is clearly a worthy cause.

Connect to Angie Fenton at www.facebook.com/angiefenton2, angie@voice-tribune.com, 502.551.2698 or by following @angiefenton on Twitter.

  • http://www.1013online.com Mark Gunn

    I went to Henryville this past Saturday and the level of caring people showed was incredible, yet not surprising.

    We were working on a friend’s house and total strangers with equipment would offer to help.

    The biggest thing I took note of was the range of emotions the victims went through. I saw one homeowner look absolutely overwhelmed by the magnitude of the damage and by the time were done, he and his wife actually had smiles on their faces.

    They still had quite a bit of an ordeal to go through, but when you put it all into perspective, it was the jump start they needed to put them on the road to recovery.