Father Jim Sichko delivers big donation to help EKY grocery recover from flooding

Everything inside the Isom, Ky. IGA store was lost during the flooding.
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 3:55 PM EDT
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A big gift was delivered to a small store in Eastern Kentucky.

Everything inside the Isom, Ky. IGA store was lost during the flooding.

A large crowd gathered outside the grocery store Monday, word spreading that something was going to happen and it was going to be really good. Moments later, Father Jim Sichko showed up with a briefcase handcuffed to his hand.

“I’m going to tell you something. You’re suffering right now. But you’re going to make it,” Father Jim said.

Sichko says he’s never been to Isom, but his visit will not soon be forgotten. He passed out gift cards to every worker of the IGA. He also gave a lot of cash to help the grocery come back.

“So, Gwen, you and your husband, $20,000 for you to decide how to spend,” said Father Jim.

The money can be spent however the owners want and they say it will be well spent on a major restoration.

“First of all, we have to get it cleaned up. These funds will help with the cleaning. It’s very expensive,” said IGA owner Gwendolyn Christon.

Father Jim says the $20,000 won’t be the only gift bestowed upon the store. He says the generosity of others will make other gifts possible down the line.

Christon worked at the store for 50 years before buying it. She says she admits when the flood happened, she didn’t know if it would survive. Now, she says she is certain it will re-open.

She hopes to re-open the store by January.

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