RICHMOND, Indiana (WDTN) — A church in Richmond, Indiana is partnering with other organizations and the Red Cross to help people displaced by the massive recycling plant fire.
Shannon Wells lived near the recycling plant and was forced to evacuate. She said it has been difficult trying to keep some normalcy for her three kids.
“I’d rather be home in my comfort zone, and then now I’m not. And they don’t know when we can go home. So sometimes it’s aggravating. But then I’m blessed to have a sister-in-law to let us stay,” Wells said.
Wells stopped by the Bread Box at Oak Park Pentecostals church Friday to pick up some food and supplies for her family. Executive Pastor Jesse Arthur said volunteers have been working around the clock to make sure families have a place to go and food to eat while they wait to see if their homes are safe. They served more than 700 families on Thursday.
“We’ve been sheltering families for the last few days, helping coordinate meals, handing out food and running point, working with Emergency Management and Red Cross to facilitate comfort, resources, meals, whatever we can, child care for first responders. So we’ve been trying to fill the gap in quite a few different ways just to provide as much continuity during this difficult time for our community as possible,” Arthur explained.
The American Red Cross opened a shelter in the church Tuesday night. Several families were later moved into a hotel thanks to the Wayne Township Trustee.
Arthur said the support from the community has been overwhelming. They received many donations from individuals and businesses.
“I think all that wholeheartedness, willing to put everything aside for the betterment of our fellow man has just made this whole terrible situation a lot better. And I want to say thank you to the whole community,” Arthur said.
While is has not been easy for Wells and her family, she is grateful for the people who are helping make this experience a little better.
“It’s amazing. It really is. I didn’t think that a lot of them were going to step up as much as they did. But I mean, they did and they’ve helped a lot of people,” Wells said.
Oak Park plans to distribute food and keep the shelter open until the evacuation order is lifted. They also plan to help people who are in need even after the evacuation order is no longer in effect.