1974 Xenia disaster inspires group to help hurricane victims

Volunteers pray for safe travels before a trailer of donated supplies drives from Xenia to Florida September 14th, 2017.

XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – A disaster that happened here 40 years ago inspired a group to help the victims of Hurricane Irma.

Thursday, a trailer and a truck full of water, food, cleaners and other supplies left Xenia and made its way to Florida.

“All walks of life have come together from different area and have made this whole thing possible,” said Christy Southworth, one of the organizers of the initiative.

Southworth’s parents lost everything during a tornado that ripped through the Miami Valley in 1974 and she said the support they received was monumental in helping them recover from the tragedy.

“Xenia has been through total devastation before and at that time there was an outreach from all over,” said Southworth. “It was very important to the community to help rebuild and bring hope back to the residents.”

With Southworth’s story as an catalyst, other volunteers from Xenia, Piqua and Fairborn agreed to help those suffering similar loss in Florida.

A drop-off location at the Xenia Lowes and the American Legion in Piqua collected donations to fill several trailers. One of the trailers was so full of donated supplies, a second truck was needed to haul the load.

Ten volunteers will be in Florida to hand out the donations.

Southworth said it was inspiring to see the best of humanity during tragedy.

“This right here has proven to me and restored for anyone… the genuine love and compassion of humanity,” she said.



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