A couple from Claremore have raised donations for those in Kentucky and now they’re gearing up to go down this route to lend a hand.
Steve and Tanya Mank saw a need they could help fill. The couple also felt called to serve in Kentucky.
The Manks traveled extensively on business and were in Indianapolis, 150 miles away, when the tornado leveled much of Mayfield, Ky.
“My mom and sister live in St. Louis. We literally watched it pass overhead specifically in the area they live in. We were in Indianapolis looking at the weather in Indianapolis because the threat was. that it also went from St. Louis straight to Indianapolis, “said Steve Mank.” We were in there on the 15th floor of a downtown hotel, we got beat up while we watched what was going on in Kentucky. because of our friends there and texting them and talking to them. ”
The Manks were driving home when they decided they needed to help.
“We only heard about this on the radio over the radio,” said Steve Mank.
Steve contacted the First United Methodist Church in Claremore and donated his trailer.
“We’ll do the driving, we’ll provide the time,” said Steve Mank.
Steve said winter is coming so they are collecting tools, coats, toys, blankets, gloves, hats, toiletries, dry pet food, electric heaters, fuel diesel and generators.
Associate Pastor Tim Mchugh was right in Mayfield to deliver the groceries.
“People listen to the call. It’s important. They listen to the need. Disaster is key. Sit down and listen to what’s needed, then react to that need,” said Tim Mchugh , First United Methodist Church.
He said the devastation is terrible.
“As soon as you cross that bridge 303 in Kentucky, at Mayfield, it’s, I mean, it’s level. There’s nothing there,” said Tim Mchugh, First United Methodist Church. “The devastation is incredible. Semi-trucks rolled around; huge pieces of tin stuck in trees; trailer parks completely washed away.”
Mchugh said the best thing you can do after a disaster is introduce yourself to people.
“This is the season to show love and give people hope,” said Tim Mchugh, First United Methodist Church. “There was a beautiful, beautiful Methodist church over there that’s gone completely, you know, since the 1800s. It’s just gone.” Much of the older Mayfield neighborhood is simply gone. ”
Mchugh asks people to donate things like family games, gingerbread house making kits, and ornaments.
“If they live in a shelter, it would still be pretty cool to celebrate Christmas somehow,” said Tim Mchugh.
The Manks will travel to Kentucky early Thursday morning.
“We are still doing it and will see you again when we get back,” said Steve Mank.
The Manks said they plan to make as many trips to Kentucky as needed.
“They need us for Christmas more than we need to be home to eat turkey for Christmas,” said Steve Mank.
As more and more donations come in, they’ll be ready to leave town. Steve Mank said his Kentucky friends will meet and help join the effort.
“It’s unreal what people have inside of them. When everything that bogs us down every day isn’t involved and now you do what you have to do, it’s amazing what people do. font, ”said Steve Mank.