Thursday, April 24, 1997
Volunteers needed for repairs
Variety of work required in Northern Ky.

The Cincinnati Enquirer

To help or get help

To volunteer for Northern Kentucky's flood relief effort or to request help, call Karen Yates at 581-2237 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
As the waters from last month's devastating flood have receded, so too, have offers of volunteer help.

Workers at the Northern Kentucky Interfaith Commission, which has helped coordinate regional flood relief efforts, say offers of help have recently dwindled to a trickle.

The group is working with the Kentucky Council of Churches and the Kentucky Interchurch Disaster Recovery Program in Lexington to coordinate Northern Kentucky flood victims' needs with volunteers and supplies.

''There have been a handful of people who've bent over backwards to help,'' said Karen Yates, who coordinates the Northern Kentucky Flood Recovery Program through the interfaith commission. ''But for most, it's like it's out of sight, out of mind.''

The biggest demand is for people who can paint, put up drywall, help with general cleanup, or repair homes in southern Campbell County and parts of Kenton County, Mrs. Yates said.

Her group is working with about 50 families - including many elderly or single-parent households - who lack the time, money or skills to do the work themselves.

''I've got a family of four living in a house in Melbourne that has no drywall or windows,'' Mrs. Yates said. ''They've got all the materials they need to do the work, but they can't afford to pay for the labor to do it.''

Elsewhere in the Tristate, relief organizations say they have not encountered problems in finding volunteers.

In Ohio County, Ind., most of the flood repair work was finished within weeks, said Charlene Fancher, volunteer supply coordinator with the Salvation Army.

And east of Cincinnati, an ample supply of skilled laborers from Mennonite communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania means local volunteer workers have not been needed, said Paul Brubacher of Morgantown, Pa. He helps to organize workers for the Mennonite Disaster Service, which established a regional headquarters in New Richmond.