PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Linda Hedrick of Parkersburg has created a nonprofit outreach program to help flood victims in southern West Virginia.
Hedrick created Helping Hands Outreach For WV Flood Victims through Facebook and used social media to spread the word about her cause. Hedrick made Facebook “challenges” that inspired people from the Mid-Ohio Valley to bring items to her drop-off point at Woodcraft in Parkersburg.
“I didn’t start this outreach for fame, religious beliefs, political gain or personal gain. I did this because I can, and I wish I could do more for these people,” said Hedrick.
“My first trip down I went with my father; we had one box trailer load full. The next trip we sent down was a tractor-trailer load and a 24-foot trailer and our last trip, with the help of the local community, we were able to take three trucks with three large (completely full) box trailers,” said Hedrick.
“We also sent ahead of us a tractor-trailer full of water and cleaning supplies and a truck with a utility trailer filled with bleach and cleaning supplies,” Hedrick said.
Hedrick believes her outreach has been successful because of the many people who have donated items and the support of her friends and family.
“When we go down and get to help these people, the gratitude that they show makes all the long hard hours we put in and sleepless nights all worth it,” said Hedrick.
The group is conducting a musical instrument drive for the high school that was damaged in Clay. Those who have musical instruments they want to donate can contact Hedrick through her Facebook group (Helping Hands Outreach For WV Flood Victims) or email [email protected].
No monetary donations are being accepted.
“I will be taking a trailer load down of instruments to the high school once the trailer is filled,” said Hedrick, who wanted to thank Woodcraft for allowing the group to use space and its parking lot as a drop-off point for the donations.
Helping Hands has been responding to the needs of residents in Clay, Elkview, Clendenin, Rainelle and surrounding areas that have been impacted by the recent flooding, said Hedrick.
“We do this by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations and local communities to help the residents of the flood by distributing much needed items, such as cleaning supplies and clothing,” said Hedrick.
“Linda Hedrick is very passionate for the victims of this state. She turned passion into action, then she started networking and found a whole lot of other people that shared her passion,” said Scott Ruble of Parkersburg, a member of Helping Hands.
Hedrick and her group have been working with the West Virginia National Guard to distribute the items they collected.
Hedrick’s 7-year-old daughter Paisley has gathered items for children affected by the floods. She has filled backpacks with toys, coloring books, crayons and other smaller items for the children.
“I am so proud of my daughter,” said Hedrick. “She was right at my side unloading the trailers and I love how big her heart is.
“To see her being so involved in helping people fills me with such joy and I could not have asked for a better daughter,” Hedrick said.