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PRIDE volunteers: Let’s UNITE to help flood victims

SOMERSET, KY — PRIDE usually recruits volunteers to care for Mother Nature. Now, PRIDE is asking volunteers to help their neighbors who are cleaning up after Mother Nature.

PRIDE is partnering with Operation UNITE to collect and deliver basic necessities to Eastern Kentucky families devastated by flooding earlier this month.

More than 800 homes in Breathitt, Floyd, Lee, Owsley and Pike Counties were completely destroyed or damaged so badly they are uninhabitable, according to county officials’ latest reports to the office of Congressman Hal Rogers. About 1,000 more homes were damaged but are livable. Thousands of people are dealing with washed out roads, septic tanks, culverts, bridges, gardens and other essential infrastructure.

Federal, state and private flood relief efforts are underway, but the need is great. For example, the Red Cross in Lee County and Owsley County, is asking for donations of furniture and cleaning supplies to help families put their homes back together. The agency is trying to find a bed for an elderly lady who has been without one since the flood. Homeowners need to remove mold as soon as possible, but the Red Cross does not have enough cleaning supplies to distribute.

“Please rally to help your neighboring communities, just as we work together to care for the environment through PRIDE and fight drugs through UNITE,” said Karen Engle, who heads PRIDE and Operation UNITE. “We know you want to help, and we want to make it easy for you to do that. Our offices and staff are at your disposal to meet this immediate need in our region.”

Cleaning supplies, hygiene products, clothes, linens, furniture, appliances and nonperishable food items will be accepted. The flood relief donations will be distributed in Breathitt, Floyd, Lee, Owsley and Pike Counties.

Please bring your donation to the nearest PRIDE or UNITE office. For large items, such as furniture, please call ahead to arrange the drop off.

The donation drop-off sites are:
Somerset PRIDE Office in The Center for Rural Development (traffic light #15), 2292 S. Hwy. 27, 606-677-6150.
London UNITE Office in Carnaby Square (Big Lots and Goodwill), 823 S. Main St., 606-330-1400.
Hazard UNITE Office in the Hal Rogers Center, 101 Bulldog Lane, 606-487-3700.
Prestonsburg UNITE Office beside the Big Sandy Area Development District, 100 Resource Dr., 606-889-0422.

To make a monetary donation, please watch the East Kentucky Flood Relief Telethon on Wed., May 20, from 5 pm to 8 pm on WYMT-TV (check your local listings) and www.wymtnews.com. Agencies accepting monetary donations are listed online at www.wymtnews.com under the “East Kentucky Flood Relief Telethon” tab.

For more information about donating relief supplies, please call the PRIDE office in Somerset, toll free, at 888-577-4339.

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