Volunteers come together to help first responders

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PARKERSBURG, W. VA. (WTAP )- “It is honestly a tragedy, but it brings people together," says Erika Whited, Secretary for Minerals Wells Fire Department.

After the Ames fire started early Saturday morning, people in the community started coming together to make it easier for those on the front lines to do their jobs.

At first it was just relatives, coworkers, and friends of the many firefighters, that gathered together at the Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department where they started organized meals; but word got out and many more started joining in!

Ashley Ong, a daughter of Lubeck's fire chief and volunteer, says “from individuals, to churches, to small businesses to corporate businesses, they’ve just been non-stop. Within an hour of posting on facebook what we needed, we had tables full. We could post, we need fruit and an hour later we have a table of fruit. Its just been remarkable.”

Coordinators say the donation drop-off started Saturday morning, and since then the donations have been constant.

Businesses have been donating meals and coffee, while individuals bring in snacks, water, and fruit.

Volunteers say seeing the involvement and support has been encouraging and proves what a strong community we have.

Whited says “when something like this happens, or there is any kind of continuing education anything like that, you come together as a family. It doesn’t matter if you’re with Lubeck or you’re with mineral wells; you’re a family and it’s all one team.”

Coordinators would like to give a special thanks to businesses and individuals that have helped out. These include Walmart, Lowes, Texas Roadhouse, KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons, Little Caesars, Bob Evans, Smitty's, Wood County Magistrate Joe Kuhl, Parkersburg city councilwoman Sharon Kuhl, Parkersburg city councilman Jeff Fox and Debbie Hendershot.

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