The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

November 20, 2013

Neighbors helping neighbors

Early Tuesday morning more than 150 volunteers headed out to help friends, neighbors, family, and total strangers to clear debris from the area so many call home. While the streets are now clear and the power lines have been replaced, for many of the displaced families, the work is just beginning. Memorabilia, furniture, clothes, and everything they called “home” was left in piles of rubble after Sunday’s EF-2 tornado tore through the west side of Washington.

“We’ve had at least 150 volunteers sign in this morning,” said DJ Bechtel of the Red Cross. “And with the number of heavy equipment operators out there, there are lot more.”

Beginning at 7:30 Tuesday morning, volunteers with equipment were allowed to begin cleanup efforts, with other volunteers allowed in at 9 a.m. All volunteers were and are still being asked to check in and receive an armband from the volunteer station, located at Kingdom Life Assembly of God, 320 S. Meridian St.

The outpouring of support from the Washington community, as well as other surrounding areas has been tremendous. “We’ve had so many people bring food down here and come out to help. The generosity is incredible,” said Bechtel.

Bechtel said the volunteer station not only serves as a checkpoint for volunteers and a place for victims and their families to get a warm meal, but also as a place for victims to request the help they need. Angela Quast said a list of needs for the families is being maintained. Requests range for help with moving from a damaged residence, to requests for flashlights or other light sources in homes where power has not been restored. Those in need may also post requests on the Washington Indiana Tornado Relief Facebook page. The Red Cross is also now working to provide aide to those in need on a case-by-case basis.

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