Young volunteers helping with tornado recovery in Harrison Township

Local News

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) -For the past two weeks, Cathi Spaugy, development director for Harrison Township, has been coordinating the distribution center at Fire Station 94, and told 2NEWS she is amazed by the amount of volunteers that are still showing up, including many teenagers.

“We’ve had them from age 7-17,” said Spaugy.

She said kids from all over like Vandalia, Kettering and Northmont have signed up to help, but even more have just showed up unannounced.

“We had the Bethel cross-country team just show up at our door,” said Spaugy. “15 teenagers and just in the nick of time because we had just gotten a large load of donations, and we needed the help, and we were looking around at what we were going to do when they literally walked in the door.”

Spaugy said the young ones are really rising to the occasion, including David Manassero who just moved weeks ago from New York.

“I had never experienced a tornado before in my life, and I wanted to help my new community,” said Manassero.

Spaugy said even through the devastation, she has seen the absolute best in people.

“I’ve heard so many stories of a little girl and it was her birthday, and they had something special planned for her, and she said ‘I’d just rather be here,” said Spaugy.

She even recounted some families who lost everything who had come through to grab items, then pulled over and volunteered their own time to help others.

At Station 94 on Turner Rd. in Harrison Township, the volunteers are accepting and organizing donations that include food, cleaning supplies, hygiene items and everything in between, then giving them out to their neighbors still in need.

“It feels really good to see people go away with smiles because they got a bunch of food, towels, and stuff they need,” said another volunteer, Andrew Rodzinka.

Spaugy said they have designated Station 94 as a relief center for the remainder of June, but could change the purpose in a few weeks, depending on the community’s needs.

They are at the fire station Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and on weekends from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

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