Within hours, the West Jefferson community was in action to help its own.
Following news that a building had collapsed in downtown — leaving several upstairs apartment residents displaced with just the clothes on their backs — community members pulled together to donate items to those in need.
Owners of three businesses volunteered to have their shops be donation drop-off sites. Among those is Carol Beachy, owner of West Jefferson Hardware.
Beachy, who said she knows the resident “a little,” said she opened at 6:30 a.m. Monday so donors could drop-off items on the way to work.
“You should see the pile,” she said.
The residents were expected to go through the items Monday evening to take what they need. More items will be requested once they have arrangements for somewhere new to live.
Still needed are men’s pants, size 30-32, shorts and shirts, size medium. Monetary donations are also needed for the residents to buy shoes, among other items.
Many toiletries have already been donated, she noted.
Donations can also be dropped off at Child Space Consignment Shop and Village Antique Treasures & Gifts.
All three residents live and work locally, Beachy noted.
She said she wasn’t surprised so much was donated in such a short period of time.
“West Jefferson has always been a very giving community,” she said.
Those wishing to make monetary donations can also do it online via a Go Fund Me account, which was set up by resident Adrienne Fields.
“I don’t know them, but I felt a strong urge to help them,” Fields said Monday. “I’ve lived in West Jeff my entire life and it’s how it’s always been in our community.”
As of 5:30 p.m. Monday, $285 had been donated.
Anyone wishing to make a donation via the online account should visit www.gofundme.com/mc3jentc.
Fields said she was shocked when she heard news of the building’s collapse Sunday morning.
“It’s our town and it’s falling apart,” she said. “The people got out, which is awesome. I don’t know how they got out.”
Andrea McKinney can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619 or via Twitter @AndeeWrites.