NewsCovering Kentucky


Signs of hope on every corner in Bowling Green

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 21:24:39-05

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Despite the destructive damage to Bowling Green, there are amazing acts of kindness happening in even the hardest-hit neighborhoods.

On Magnolia Street, a crew from Hope Force International spent the day cleaning up people’s backyards. While the rain made it unsafe for them to place tarps on roofs, they instead took chainsaws to large trees and raked up debris.

The volunteers came from all over and many of them arrived in western Kentucky on Saturday. Some volunteers are Kentuckians themselves and one traveled all the way from California. But they all have the same mission: provide practical assistance to displaced homeowners who’ve lost nearly everything.

“In the midst of difficult situations like this you see a side of humanity in people that is almost more overwhelming than the disaster,” said Joey Stoltzfus, the organization’s Disaster Services Director. “The love that comes through people serving and jumping in and helping people in desperate times, it's pretty incredible.”

That love was also apparent one block away on Nutwood Street, where the Sheldons set up a tent in their front yard. While they started off simply serving drinks last Saturday, their efforts have now grown into an all-day affair lasting all week. Steve and Terri Sheldon estimate volunteers have served hundreds of families breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’ve fed linemen from across the country and National Guard members. Some volunteers have even started driving golf carts packed with food to areas where cars can’t travel right now.

“It doesn't matter how much money you have, what the color of your skin is, what your beliefs are, you help your fellow man,” said Kent Bucy, who spent the week cooking hot meals and prepping sandwiches.

And Terri Sheldon said they didn’t initially realize the impact something as basic as a hot meal could have on the neighborhood.

“Now, boots on the ground, just going to the neighborhoods, whether it be linemen, or people who live here, to see the tears and hear the stories, it's pretty overwhelming,” she said. “So then you see how important it is.”