Wayne County lies nestled amid the vast natural beauty of the Allegheny Mountains, which still conceal deposits of the coal that once made this a rich and populous area of the Mountaineer State. Automation of mines and the ecological stigmas attached to coal as a fuel source have seriously damaged Wayne County’s economy. With coal mining almost shut down, all businesses that once depended on mining – and the buying power of the miners — have closed. Unemployment continues to rise, and industry development remains at a crawl.
When flash floods hit West Virginia a few years ago, none of the families of our sponsored and unsponsored children could have prepared for what was going to happen.
Like many small towns in this rural part of West Virginia, Dunlow is remote, located far from any sizeable town or city. A few strip mines still produce coal, and there are some sawmills that cut lumber. Overall, however, Dunlow’s economy is struggling, with high unemployment and a lack of industry development. Many residents in this region live well below the poverty line, plagued by all the socioeconomic struggles that accompany poverty. One of our affiliated schools in the area, Dunlow Elementary School, offers a place where children can count on support, encouragement, and a nutritious warm meal not only every day, but also in cases of emergency, such as flash flooding — thanks to the help they received from our Hope In Action Fund.
Our Hope In Action Fund steps in to help
When flash floods hit West Virginia a few years ago, none of the families of our sponsored and unsponsored children could have prepared for what was going to happen. Fortunately, none of them lost their homes in the flood, but the water and subsequent mud from the flooding caused damage and left behind a great mess to clean up. To make matters worse, school was out for summer break, and many families lived in isolated areas with no phone and no transportation, so they didn’t have many options for getting the urgent support they needed to begin to repair their houses.
Thankfully, our Hope In Action Fund helped families during this time of crisis. In order to start the clean-up process, many people needed bleach, laundry detergent, rubber gloves, and extra-strength trash bags. Our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, requested funds be sent to Dunlow to purchase these items; and our volunteer coordinator at Dunlow Elementary School was able to buy the cleaning supplies and deliver them to families, giving them a sense of relief that they were being supported while they worked to get their homes and lives back on track.
HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN WEST VIRGINIA?
You can sponsor a child in West Virginia in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.