Troup County residents lend helping hand to those affected by recent tornado

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 10:11 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Just a week later after a tornado ripped through a LaGrange neighborhood, many residents of LaGrange came out to help those in need.

Three churches with a vision have grown into a mission to help those affected by the storm.

One Lexington Park resident I spoke with today says seeing so many people come out young and old to help them clean up has been amazing. She says it’s nice to see people still care for others.

“We just want to be the hands and the feet of Jesus.”

Haley Dodgins who is a second-grade teacher in Lagrange says once finding out several students in her class were affected by the tornado, her and other teachers were ready to help in any way. One thing led to another, and it ended up being more than just teachers helping this community.

“It started as three churches and a couple of people that we knew and it’s turning into three or four and major businesses like the Kia plant and just all these businesses saying hey we’re donating here’s all this stuff and it’s overwhelming but in a good way like the compassion and the joy and just the outpouring of love.”

Kim Fields has been living in Lexington Park for over 10 years she says her house was one of the first to be built. Fields say to see most of them torn apart now is heartbreaking but it’s nice to see the community willing to lend a helping hand.

“I never saw myself you know you see things like this on the news but you never see that for yourself and I’m just so touched by all the old folks the young folks it’s just overwhelming it just does my heart.”

Andy Buchanan with Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief Team says after riding the whole county and seeing the destruction the tornado left behind, he knew it was important to get all hands on deck.

“Those people are going through a difficult time, and it was going to be a long recovery but that they were going to have people around them to help them support them as they recover, and I could just say with confidence that God is good and even in the difficult times look at what he’s done.”

Not only adults helped to pick up pieces of wood but teenagers as well spent their Friday evening helping their neighbors. Grant Sanders a senior at Troup County high school says they wanted to do the best they could for this community.

“I’m glad that our community is able to put something together like this and it shows that we’re really caring we’re really trying them there’s a lot of people out today so it’s good that we care and we’re just doing what we can.”

Organizers of this event say they will continue to help the community clean up until the destruction is all gone