Whitesburg KY
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Mennonites offer help to those who have lost everything in house fires

To the Editor:


A few days ago, I was talking to a lady here in Whitesburg who was telling me how she had lost everything she owned in a house fire a few years ago. She spoke of the great loss of not only possessions but also of memorabilia lost as well. Things you cannot replace like photos of your children throughout the years, quilts made by mothers and grandmothers long gone, gifts given by special friends, etc.

I have never lost my home to fire, but I can imagine the devastation and feeling of complete loss that must accompany such an event in one’s life. I realize that you lose everything but the clothes on your back and probably what you have had in your car. Hopefully, no one you love was killed or injured when the fire took place.

Mennonite Cent ral Committee in Appalachia (located at 59A Main Street) offers some assistance to those who have lost everything due to fire. Sheets, blankets, towels and health kits are given to those who need them for just such a loss, at no charge to the recipient. The lady I spoke with told me she did not realize that Mennonite Central Committee would assist families with this kind of need, and how much help it would have been to her had she known.

Mennonite Cent ral Committee in Appalachia also has a program that runs throughout the summer called SWAP (Sharing with Appalachian People). The SWAP program strives to help families keep their homes warm, safe and dry at a very small cost. Home repair assistance is available to low-income families within a 30-minute radius of three locations in Hindman, Eolia, and Harlan. Anyone who wishes to, may apply by contacting Colettia Estep at (606) 633-5065 or (606) 216- 4922. An application will be mailed to you upon request.

Mennonite Central Committee in Appalachia is part of the Great Lakes Region of Mennonite Central Committee. Partnerships have been established with local organizations such as Eolia Christian Community Outreach, LKLP, HOMES, and the Letcher County Food Pantry where MCC provides canned meat for food donations. Also, garden seeds are provided to local organizations for distribution in the spring.

If you would like to learn more about Mennonite Central Committee, you can check it out on the web at greatlakes.mcc.org or swap.mcc.org.
MCC Appalachia Administrative

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