One Man Organizes Donations to Breathitt Co. Flood Victims

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

After seeing the damage for himself in Breathitt County, a Somerset man decided to give back. With the help of churches and other volunteers, he delivered truck loads of supplies to one of the hardest hit communities.

Benjaman Hubbard was visiting family in the Rousseau community this past weekend when the flood waters started to rise, and he returned to the community ready to help.

Church members unloaded the trucks full of supplies in minutes. Benjaman Hubbard says these donations from Somerset are just the beginning. "It was basically just those friendships and those connections to people who care enough to reach out to a community they don't even know," he says.

The water, clothes, food and cleaning supplies are headed to people like Melissa Hensley in Rousseau. "My house is destroyed, I have nothing. My kids have nothing," says Hensley.

Hensley says the flood waters carried away some of her belongings, and ruined the rest. "It was like a big lake. We watched a garage wash off we watched all their things wash away."

"I have seen things that I wish I would have never seen. I've seen people homes completely gone, kids toys completely gone," says Amber Sewell with the Rousseau Elementary School.

Teachers from the school, which was also damaged by the flood, are helping gather names of people in and around the community that lost everything.

"Right now most people need, they need reassurance that we're there, that we're with them, that we're going to help them through," says Karen Tharp, head teacher at the school.

Hubbard says he is planning another trip to Breathitt County this weekend.

"That will help so many families, they need clothing, they need water, they need furniture," says Tharp.

"It's no where near enough. It's a good start, but a lot more can be done," says Hubbard. He hopes these donations inspire other people to do the same.

Contact info for Full Gospel Deliverance Church in Jackson:


Mailing address:
P.O. Box 856
Jackson, KY 41339

Physical Address:
2944 Quicksand Rd
Jackson, KY 41339

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  • by Naomi Location: Noctor on May 27, 2009 at 06:27 PM
    Thanks to all of you who have posted comments. I live in this area going into Rousseau. We have been helping the people. Frank from SC, I know your Aunt Lena. We were able to give her a new mattress set and sofa set and some other pieces of furniture and flooring so she can get back into her house that had been donated by families and the church. She is so homesick according to her daughter Janet. I am so proud of my nephew Benjaman for starting a wave of compassion and giving to our community and the rest of my family and our church family who have worked very hard to help in anyway they could. We appreciate everyones prayers and anything you can help with. You can find our church website with contact info at the end of this story. Thanks to WYMT for the great job in covering the need that is so great. With everyone working together we can make it with God's help. God bless all of you!!
  • by Myssi & Family Location: Cols, Ohio on May 27, 2009 at 12:59 PM
    I am not from Breathitt by birth but my family history goes a long way back from this wonderful County. My heart is broken just learning of this disaster yesterday. I havent stopped crying. My heart & soul belong to Breathitt and if my son would come along i would be living there in a heart beat! My thoughts & prayers are with each & every person who is affect by this storm & flood. I dont have much to offer but my prayers, however i am trying to collect clothing, canned food, toys & cleaning supplies from my small park to bring down the first weekend in June if we are able to get the funds for gas & to spend the weekend there. My heart is truly broken for this town i love so much. God Bless you all & God willing me & my family will be down in two weeks to help in any way we can. We have suffered from a flood before & i know personally the devastation & fear it can bring. Stay strong, have faith & know you are all in our hearts & prayers. God Bless & hope to see you all soon.
  • by Frank Location: Richburg sc on May 26, 2009 at 06:12 AM
    To E. Kentucky, Iknow this is a site for flood victims, but your comment was very thoughtful and I would like to talk to you, who knows we may know each other, I hope all of you that were effected by this flood is getting the help you need, I have a Aunt that lived across the road from the store there in Rousseau, and she got hit really bad from what I am told as a lot of people did, my aunt Lena Mae is up in years and not in the best of health,but if people are caring and loving the way they were when I lived up there you will survive this,but it will take time and all of you are still in my prayers.GOD Bless. Frank
  • by To Frank Location: E Ky on May 20, 2009 at 06:37 AM
    Your post is so sad. I feel the same way about these mountains. I have lived elsewhere but returned. Maybe you can do the same & come back to live at a place that you love. God bless you & I pray someday you can return here to live at a place you evidently love so dearly.
  • by Benjaman Location: Somerset on May 18, 2009 at 08:41 AM
    Thank you all for the comments. I, along with the citizens of Rousseau and surrounding communities, will continue until the work is complete. My wife grew up in this community, and her family still lives there, so it is very dear to me and, if something like this happens again, I'll do everything that I can to help then as well. The most amazing thing here is the incredible effort that the entire community is putting into rebuilding and caring for one another. I could not be happier about the way things are working out, given the circumstances!
  • by Carolyn Location: Breathitt Co. on May 18, 2009 at 06:09 AM
    Thank you and may God bless you.
  • by Frank Location: Richburg SC on May 17, 2009 at 06:54 AM
    Mr.Hubbard, Thank you for stepping up and doing what you are doing for the people that have been effected by this terrible disaster, I was raised up in Breathitt Co. on highway 540 on Frozen Creek but had to leave in 1975 for some very sad reasons. I am very aware of what the floods can do there and I felt so bad seeing the pictures and videos of what has happened there again. To all of you that are effected by this devastation, my heart and prayers go out to you and I hope that some way with the help of God you can get your lifes back to normal. Not a day goes by that my mind does not go back to Breathitt Co.for Eastern Kentucky is truly Gods country. I may have to live else where but the mountians will always be home to me. The sad part is when rain comes as it did the water has no where to go but up, and living there in the mountians that has to be excepted, I saw so much devastation in the pictures, but so much beauty in the mountians,MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND GIVE YOU PEAC.
  • by RM Location: Hazard on May 15, 2009 at 02:56 PM
    You are truly a Man of God. THANK YOU
  • by mary Location: flatwoods on May 15, 2009 at 05:04 AM
    God will surely bless all that helps the flooded families without them knowing.


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