BUCKHANNON – A local organization and a local business joined in tornado relief efforts, led by David Beckner, on Monday, December 20.
David Beckner, along with several volunteers, worked to collect donations and supplies to bring to Kentucky to lend a hand to the majestic neighbor of West Virginia. Donations were made by groups and individuals from several counties for those who suffered from the disaster. Most recently, Beckner and his team moved to the vacant lot across from Floyd Signs. The donation site began on Sunday and will run until Tuesday, December 21 at 4 p.m. ET.
The WV Classic Wheels Car Club heard about the donations and wanted to do their part for the relief efforts. The club, led by President Jim Gifford, often supports local organizations and efforts throughout Upshur County. Gifford met with Beckner and other volunteers to donate a check for $ 1,000.00 to be used to purchase items for the victims.
âI feel like God has put on our hearts to help others. These guys don’t just give gifts; they give hope, âsaid Jim Gifford, father of volunteer Jamie Gifford.
Buckhannon Lowes was also keen to make a small contribution by donating supplies to use in the cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Lowes Store Manager Cody McGee and his associates love to support the community and its members.
âI’ve been with Lowes for eight years now and been a part of several different places and it seems like every place I’ve worked or been a part of always finds a way to get involved in the community and do things like that, âMcGee said. âWe want to make an impact on individuals and families across the state and across the country. We try to impact as many people as possible. When Dave [Beckner] and Robbie [Skinner, Mayor of Buckhannon] came to me with this specific situation and the great thing Dave is doing, it was a great situation for us to get involved. My leadership really takes it with passion and one thing they love working for Lowe’s is having the chance to do things like this for their community and for other communities.
Here in Buckhannon, Lowes is really involved in the community and says they will continue to be. McGee said “Not only does this look good for Lowes, it looks good for the families and associates that we give a chance to make an impact, as well as outside of the company.” So that’s a good thing and I was excited to be a part of it, but I’ve never been as part of a community as I have since moving here to Buckhannon.
âMayfield, Kentucky is a very small community, very similar to Buckhannon. I know a lot of people here are very interested in donating and being a part of the recovery effort because we know what it’s like to live in a small community that has faced its own tragedy over the years. years, âsaid Mayor Robbie Skinner. âWest Virginia, of course, suffered a terrible tragedy in 2016 when flooding hit and ravaged the southern part of our state and Kentucky and other states came to our aid whenever we needed it. needed, so I think it’s important for us to be good neighbors and give them what we have, especially at this time of year and all they’ve been through.
Beckner was at a loss for words, seeing what the community had done in such a short time.
âWhat Mayor Skinner and Cody have done to get this started is amazing. Before I came here I had a conversation with Robbie [Messenger] and Jamie [Gifford]. Robbie said we were in trouble. He said there are six Walmart from Elkins to Grafton that arrive with four to six trucks each. We thought we were done. We are full. There’s no way.”
A simple idea of ââa toy truck turned into more than Beckner and his friends could have imagined. Currently, the group is looking for volunteers to help transport donations. Anyone who owns a truck and trailer and can volunteer during the holiday season can contact David Beckner at 304-613-6999.
After speaking to Pastor Ken of First Christ Church in Mayfield, Beckner was made aware of a town just outside of Mayfield. A small town called Fulton was home to nearly 6,000 people. Due to her size and the lack of publicity around her, Fulton will now be the second stop for the group and the donations. The men will leave at midnight Wednesday, to be sure, and arrive early Thursday. The group will start in Mayfield and continue to spread love in Fulton, Kentucky.