Thank you to everybody who donated supplies for people impacted by the floods in West Virginia! And everybody else who replied with messages of encouragement, support, and solidarity.
In Camden-on-Gauley, WV, a small rural town largely forgotten by large disaster relief organizations, DJK, a kitchen formed to share food at Rainbow Gatherings, set up a base camp and organized collectively to send out teams to gut houses and repair damage done by the flooding.
In Clendenin, Elkview, and Clay County, WV, the Roush family, who are from Clendenin, have been tirelessly organizing work crews and distributing cleanup supplies as part of a communal recovery. But residents trying to rebuild their homes and lives are facing roadblocks over code enforcement.
Through your help, we were able to deliver cooking equipment, tarps, bins, bug spray, and many other requested items to these grassroots groups. In partnership with our friends at Radical Action for Mountains’ and Peoples’ Survival (RAMPS), we were able to get a box truck of requested supplies to the area, unload it, and distribute it to community residents.
It’s been over 6 weeks since severe flooding hit a large part of West Virginia. And although there’s been an amazing volunteer response, volunteer interest is dropping as the flood has faded from the headlines. And the volunteers still on the ground are requesting backup. Both skilled and unskilled labor crews are very much still needed — especially people with experience installing drywall, replacing insulation, installing flooring, building footbridges, or inspecting buildings for other damage. And there’s plenty for unskilled folks to do too! If you want to go up and volunteer, we can help you make it happen! If you need a place to stay, we can help coordinate that too.
With wildfires still raging in California, sewage contaminating drinking water in Baltimore, and hurricane season coming in the Gulf of Mexico, we have our work cut out for us. But we recognize that our hope for a livable future rests in each other, in the relationships we build with each other, and in developing resilient preparation for and response to crisis as individuals and communities, while simultaneously opposing intensive resource extraction and other root causes of climate change. We know that, together, we can rise above the floodwaters that threaten to drown us all.
For climate justice and the better world we carry in our hearts,
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief