STEPHENS CITY — With the Carolinas still reeling from damage caused by Hurricane Florence, a local church and a local business are teaming up to help provide relief.
Trinity Lutheran Church and JNO. S. Solenberger & Co. hardware in Winchester announced Thursday that they would be sending flood buckets — $99.99 buckets containing towels, cleaning supplies and hygiene kits — to the areas impacted by the hurricane.
Kim Begnaud, the community outreach minister for Trinity Lutheran Chruch, said the buckets of supplies will be sent to Roanoke where they will be loaded up and taken to Raleigh, North Carolina. There they will be delivered to families that need them. She said that this would also be the first year the church would be doing this endeavor.
“I had thought about doing something like this as far as community outreach,” Begnaud said. “I checked with Lutheran Disaster Response to see what they needed. At the same time, I had received emails from them about what they needed and what they were trying to achieve.”
Begnaud thought Solenberger’s would be the perfect partner to work with on the flood buckets.
“Solenberger’s has been in business for over 130 years, and they have a great sense of community,” Begnaud said. “When you drive by there, you see a mural that says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and to me, that is a great message.”
Patti Solenberger, who serves as the marketing director for Solenberger, said the store’s position in the community helps it do things like this.
“Community outreach is one of our passions,” Solenberger said. “For us, we try to look at it as what would we desire for someone to do for us if we were in the same situation. It’s the right thing to do.”
Solenberger said that she is proud of the work Begnaud and the church have done so far.
“I’m so happy that Kim [Begnaud] and the church are thinking of and helping others,” Solenberger said.
Ralph Gregory, the owner of Gregory’s in Stephens City and a member of Trinity Lutheran, said he owns property in North Carolina and has seen the damage from Florence first hand.
“You see all of the damage in the media, but what you don’t see is that people have lost jobs and houses,” Gregory said.
Gregory, who has donated toward five buckets, said he hopes that the church’s efforts will help those in need.
“We at the church feel this is one way to help people who are going through a rough time,” Gregory said.
Begnaud said that Trinity Lutheran has reached out to other churches in the Shenandoah Valley and will continue to reach out.
“I hope this encourages the other churches and the community to come together,” Begnaud said. “Whether if it’s here, the Carolinas, Florida, or wherever, we would just hope that somebody would do the same thing for us. We just invite the whole area to pitch in and buy these flood buckets.”
The deadline to buy a flood bucket is Oct. 31.
Drop off donations at JNO. S. Solenberger & Co., 832 Berryville Ave., Winchester, or contact Trinity Lutheran Church at 540-869-4019.