Severe Winter Weather In The Red Bird Area

Severe winter weather including snow, ice, and flooding have created significant problems providing direct services to clients in need in southeastern Kentucky.  Home delivered meals, home care services, congregate Senior Center services, and K-12 school and early childhood development services have all been impacted.

Also, decreased government funding eliminated regional emergency meals for older adults this year. These meals have been essential for home bound seniors when home delivered meal programs can not safely get to them several days in a row because of hazardous road conditions.  During these difficult times Red Bird Mission staff daily called home bound clients and clients at risk in the community to check on their safety and welfare, making connections when needed with emergency management or the sheriff’s office to conduct well checks.

These collaborative partnerships and private donations have provided emergency warming blankets, and needed bottled water to the community, as some residents were without city water for over 2 weeks dealing with burst pipes, water leaks, and lack of pressure.  Some residents endured a boil water advisory for nearly a month.

Red Bird Mission’s innovative water kiosk has provided access to potable water since July 2015, and was vital to the Clay County residents that needed clean water access recently.  To date, over 18,725 gallons of water has been accessed through the kiosk. Other community leaders are planning to replicate this kiosk in the Oneida community to expand these efforts.

Emergency support is still needed through our food pantry that has been hit hard this winter. Supplies are low on peanut butter, canned meats, juice, canned fruit, and instant potatoes.  Red Bird Mission thanks the Society of St. Andrew hunger relief program and St. Mark UMC, Murfreesboro, TN, for delivering gleaning donations of sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes this winter!