SULLIVAN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The recovery journey from the March tornado in Sullivan has not stopped since it happened.
In fact, following the storm, there was a coalition started in order to get relief for these victims as soon as possible. This group is the Sullivan County Long Term Tornado Recovery Coalition. They held a public meeting tonight to discuss what they have accomplished so far and what is still needed.
Richard Payonk is the volunteer director of this coalition and he talked about what they are doing for the community.
“To provide long-term recovery services to any client that is an impacted survivor from the storm with financial needs, spiritual and emotional needs. Any of those areas where those services could be needed. Our coalition is trying to make those connections and help.”
So far, this coalition has raised a little over $1,000,000 to help those in need. However, it is estimated that to be able to help all in need, it is going to take around $7,000,000.
Payonk had a closing statement regarding what he hoped could happen in light of this need.
“Our goal is to reignite that fire that was here in April by reminding the community, not just the Sullivan but the surrounding Wabash Valley, of the importance of their neighbors and what we need to do to help them,” he added.
One of the main focuses of this meeting was getting comments and input from the community. Organizers say the foundation of the coalition is the community.
Chris Gentry is a Sullivan resident and volunteer, and he explains how amazing Sullivan truly is.
“It was remarkable. I knew that is what our community was made up of was individuals that cared for one another. To see it in action is another thing and that’s what we got to experience with immediately after the aftermath of the tornado moving through. Everybody was really pulling through to help everyone out.”
Anyone who wants to donate to this cause or wants to be a part of it can contact them via their Facebook page which is linked here.