While the floods were devastating to the area, the weeks that followed were the first time I felt proud to be from the Middle Tennessee area. People all across the area banded together to help each other out in wake of the disaster.
So, I was not surprised to find an article from May 8, 2010 that talked about the Wilson County community coming together to help each other out following the flood.
Then-Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead announced May 7, 2010 the opening of the Flood Store in Suite 160 at Prime Outlets in Lebanon, and that Mason Alkire, a volunteer, would coordinate the efforts.
“The purpose of the store is to accept and distribute donations for flood victims,” said Alkire. “Donations will be accepted in the back of the store, which is right next to the Samsonite store and one store away from Reebok.”
He said the store would be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and people should watch the media for news about future hours.
“We’re reading this book as we’re writing it,” said Alkire. “We not only need donations, but also volunteers to help man the store, as well as shelves.”
Alkire said some furniture had already been donated, such as three or four couches and two or three entertainment centers. Alkire added they had access to some office furniture, such as desks and chairs, as well.
For the first few days, Alkire said because they had not coordinated with WEMA for a list of those impacted by the floods, the Flood Store would operate on the honor system.
In addition, Alkire said he hoped to have a call center established by the end of the next week so people would have a place to call to volunteer and find out about store hours.
In addition to the Flood Store, the following businesses and organizations offered assistance and help to those affected by the floods:
• Maurice’s store, also located at Prime Outlets in Lebanon, held an office-supply drive.
• Java Joe’s, located at 1029 W. Main St. in Lebanon, played host to a Nashville Flood Benefit Service. The event raised money to support families affected by the flood and accepted donations of such goods as toothbrushes, toothpaste, toiletries, shoes, clothes and bottled water.
• The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce collected donations of office furniture, filing cabinets or office supplies.
• New Leash on Life in Lebanon accepted volunteers and donations to help with the influx of animals following the flood.
It’s comforting to read a story like that and realize the next time something terrible happens, there will be scores of volunteers ready to go around and help the community get through it.
Jacob Smith is a staff writer for The Democrat. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @wilsonnewsroom.