KY priest hands out cash, 80k in supplies, and pays utility bills for Texas families

ORANGE, Texas (WKYT) - A priest from Madison County is preparing to return to the Bluegrass after delivering much needed supplies to his hometown, that was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

"It broke my heart, when after 2,600 people came through, there were still 400 people in need that I had to turn away," said Father Jim Sichko.

The only place to turn to for many of those families is to the reminders of destruction and loss that seem to coat all of Orange, Texas.

The priest from Kentucky returned to his hometown this week, loaded with goods and support from the Bluegrass.

"Within one week, 80 thousand dollars worth of items appeared at my house," said Sichko. He explains that his Amazon collections account went viral after Harvey hit the gulf.

Those donations, with the help of Kentucky sponsors, made their way down to the Lone Star State, and filled a catholic school gymnasium.

Sichko also passed out cash, and paid utility bills for some.

"It was a long wait in line, but it was well worth the wait," said Texas mother Valencia Trower, as she held her baby in her arms. "Well worth the wait, because this will help for a couple months."

Trower makes one less mother to worry about where her child's next clean diaper will come from.

Or where her family will find clean water for the day.

Or how they will pay the bills that are now delivered to gutted and water-warped houses, that used to be homes.

"They feel as if they have something of their own," said Sichko, "I mean, everything is gone. Bed, TV, everything."

Sunday marks his last day in town, but the Kentucky priest has one more idea up his sleeve. Sichko plans to buy 50 car seats for strangers, and pass them out in a parking lot.

Others will likely cross his path as he makes his way home. Those drivers traveling in the opposite direction, likely have a less promising destination.

"Some families that are just coming back today, because friends have gone to get them. They have no clue of what their homes look like."



 
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