Volunteer Spirit Of Nashville Is Evident In Disaster

Volunteers Serve A Hot Meal Provided By Wendell Smith’s To Flood Victims At St. Luke’s Y.E.S Center

The overriding story that emerged in the aftermath of last week’s devastating flood, was of the volunteer spirit that swept across the city like a cloud of hope. Reporting on the generous outpouring of service and donations offered by both local individuals and corporations, Nashville attorney, David Ewing stated that “We are lucky to live in a town with great people and businesses who care about our community and its citizens.” Sue Spence of Bellevue who lost everything she owned in the disaster said “it’s not what I lost that I want to talk about, I want to talk about the people, not just friends and my church, but strangers too. You might expect help from your family, but so many people offered to do whatever was needed, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

More than two hundred homes were damaged or destroyed when the flood waters overtook West Nashville’s Nations neighborhood, leaving hundreds of local residents without cooking facilities and sanitation. Responding to the community’s need for hot meals, Wendell Smith’s worked with Saint Luke’s Community House, and the West Nashville branch of Youth Encouragement Services to provide lunch and dinner for flood victims all last week.

Following a visit to Saint Luke’s on Thursday, Metro Councilman Jason Holleman said “The organized effort to address the needs of flood victims has been impressive, but what has been even more impressive is the way that area non-profits, like St. Luke’s Community House, have risen to the occasion to be a real force in responding to the needs on the ground.” Throughout Holleman’s visit numerous donations of food and cleaning supplies were delivered to the center and he later stated that “This disaster has demonstrated that we, in Tennessee, continue to deserve the title of “The Volunteer State. The dedication that people in this community have shown to their friends, to their neighbors, and to complete strangers has been inspiring.”

It is unknown the long term affect the flood will have on the city’s commerce and industry or how it will impact the future of the individual victims who all suffered great personal loss, but the disaster’s lasting legacy of community service and compassion is already established and will be long remembered. And for that we can all take pride.

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