September 27, 2017 Edition

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LawCo. collaborates to aid
hurricane victims in Texas

Trenton Richey and Emma-Leigh Richey of Lynn wrap donated items that were delivered to the Port Aransas and Rockport, Texas, areas that were hard hit by Hurricane Harvey.

John Bland

Thanks to a Lawrence County effort, the victims of Hurricane Harvey in coastal Texas have received a truckload of basic necessities and supplies to aid in their recovery efforts.

The effort was a collaboration by #Communitystrong, a group that first organized to assist victims of local flooding in the spring, and Jennifer Richey of Lynn, who started Operation Relief. For over three weeks, Lawrence County area citizens donated items for the cause.

First United Methodist Church served as a main collection location for the items in the Walnut Ridge area. Items collected included bottled water, canned goods and other non-perishable foods, toiletry items, household cleaning supplies, paper goods, shoes, socks, baby items, as well as monetary donations.

Jennifer's husband, Preston, who owns Preston Richey Trucking of Sedgwick, partnered with #Communitystrong and Operation Relief to provide a truck and driver to deliver the donations to Texas. Preston Richey Trucking also served as a scollection location for donations as did the Strawberry Medical Clinic in Strawberry.

Preston's wife, Jennifer Richey, explained in a letter to friends, community members and their church family, why they got involved. Jennifer and daughter, Emma-Leigh, had prayed for the victims of Hurricane Harvey during the disaster, and afterwards, Emma-Leigh asked if they could take their big trucks and go help the victims.

That question struck Jennifer as an appeal from God. She told Preston that night, "We are going to take a truck, and we are going to help those people."

The Richeys then teamed up with #Communitystrong to combine their collections of relief supplies. Preston said their church, Bold Springs Missionary Baptist Church in Strawberry, as well as the Hillcrest School and others assisted the Richeys with donations and collections.

Volunteers gathered at Walnut Ridge First United Methodist Church on Thursday to pack and palletize the donations for loading. Among the volunteers were: members of the Richey family, including Preston and Jennifer, their children, Dalton, Trenton and Emma-Leigh Richey; Tate Anderson and Kaiden Stormes of the Walnut Ridge High School Key Club; Peggy Maryman, Sharon Kary, Rev. Beth Perdue, Jeff Taylor and Michael Poteete of Barton's Lumber Co.

Preston Richey noted that 16 pallets of supplies were collected, and with monetary donations, they were able to purchase supplies to fill four additional pallets, for a total of 20 pallets.

Preston's brother, Allen Richey, left on Saturday and delivered the supplies to Son Valley Ranch in Victoria, Texas, where supplies will be distributed as needed. Preston added that Walnut Ridge native Stacy Snapp Killian helped them find the location that could best use and distribute the donations.

The organizers expressed thanks to all the volunteers who assisted and who donated in any way to the effort.

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