DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Over two months have passed since the Memorial Day tornadoes ripped apart the homes and lives of many Miami Valley residents, but volunteers like Ashley Browning are still doing their part, getting people ready for the “new normal.”
Browning started out the day after the tornadoes, giving out items in the devastated neighborhoods, then started a distribution center at a Trotwood dance studio.
Now, she and her self-founded organization, SoLoved, are working out of a more permanent situation which she has named the “Heartbeat Room.”
Whether it’s cleaning supplies, diapers or hygiene items, it can be found at the Heartbeat Room, a one-stop shop dedicated to making sure life goes on for tornado survivors.
On Tuesday, many still feeling the effects of the tornadoes stopped by to pick up items.
People like Jazmine Grover, who said she moved to Dayton from Georgia right before the Memorial Day tornadoes.
“Getting these supplies for my kids, being in a situation that I was in, you know moving to a new state, this has just helped me out so much,” said Grover.
The Heartbeat Room is volunteered by SoLoved, a project-based organization that assists different populations through community outreach with monthly initiatives with a focus in West Dayton.
“It’s always great to be able to help somebody, it’s a great feeling,” said Browning. “We are biblically based, for God so loved the world he gave, so we give.”
The Heartbeat Room is located at 1573 Guenther Rd. and is stocked with household items tornado survivors may need, as well as school supplies, uniforms, and backpacks as kids are heading back to school.
“Most people are just now finding housing, so I’d rather you save for a security deposit or first months’ rent and you can come and get these items here,” said Browning.
The Heartbeat Room is open one day a week, but tornado victims are welcome to come anytime by giving advance notice and setting up an appointment.
As many as 25 volunteers work at the site on any given day.
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