The second half of 2016 proved challenging for much of Greenbrier County. After floods ripped through homes and businesses, recovery non-profits like the Greater Greenbrier Long Term Recovery Committee began taking shape.
“We built an organization from scratch to deal with an extraordinary number of folks that were displaced from their homes, businesses that were damaged or suffered economic losses,” says chairman Dave Lumsden.
In just 6 months the organization has put a dent in the large number of families in need. In 2016, the have 320 active cases in their assistance program, 644 cases waiting to be managed, and 14 volunteer case managers. That number is one they hope to see grow as we transition to 2017.
Officials with LTRC say volunteers within their network spent 2016 logging 48,700 volunteer hours. With a dollar value of about $20.43. That means more than $996,000 worth of labor have been donated to struggling areas.
“It really has been a way for the community to come together and really re-realize our strengths and tap in to that resiliency that really is going to make us come out of this stronger,” says volunteer Arron Seams.
Despite the tragedy this summer, things are looking up. Organizers say given the success of programs in 2016, 2017 should be even smoother sailing. “I think that with the new year the Long Term Recovery Committee- ours in Greenbrier Valley and also around the state- are getting momentum under them. In a lot of cases the case management process is becoming streamlined,” adds Seams.
The Greater Greenbrier Long Term Recovery Committee was established after the June floods. Organizers say they group has no plans to dissolve in the future.