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Giving Thanks: JOM helps Red Cross to help victims again

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By Stephen Thomas

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The Bullitt/Spencer County American Red Cross Disaster Services team members are on call every hour of every day to assist those in need during an emergency.

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Volunteers arrive on the scene of emergencies such as house fires, offering whatever immediate assistance they can to families in their most critical time of need.

At Thanksgiving, the Red Cross shows that they haven’t forgotten those families. This year 36 Bullitt and Spencer County families received turkey dinners from the agency.

Bullitt/Spencer Red Cross director Mike Crenshaw said everyone affected by a home fire in the past year was eligible to receive a meal, along with a few meals on standby in case of a similar emergency prior to Christmas.

Along with Red Cross volunteers, Crenshaw thanked employees from JOM Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., for making the meal donations a success.

“This was our first year with JOM,” said Crenshaw. “A lot of this is due to the generosity of JOM, including a monetary donation of $1,500.”

JOM employees also donated over 1,000 food items, allowing the Red Çross to provide full Thanksgiving meals including whole turkeys, mashed potatoes, various vegetables and bread.

Some JOM employees also visited the Red Cross headquarters in Shepherdsville to deliver the food items and prepare meals for distribution.

Jim Brock, a JOM senior mechanic, was among those helping with the distribution. He credited JOM employees for following the company’s credo.

“A lot of community involvement is the point of the credo,” he said. “JOM is a company but it’s the people inside it that are the ones that give.”

Linda and Larry Morrow of Taylorsville lost their home June 22 when an electrical fire totally destroyed it.

“We didn’t have a thing left,” Linda said. “We had insurance, and the firefighters called the Red Cross. All I had was my driver’s license and what I was wearing.”

Linda recalled an initial surprise that the Red Cross would become involved.

“We said save that for somebody that needs it,” she said. “The firefighters looked around and said we need it.”

Red Cross offered a hotel room, but the couple stayed with their children. They also received a debit card from Red Cross to help buy primary necessities.

“Our insurance had a check, but nobody told us the bank would hold it for eight days,” Linda said.

The couple is still living on their land in a trailer provided by the insurance company while their home is being rebuilt, hopefully ready by Christmas. Linda said other family members were offering a Thanksgiving meal.

“Now we’ll have something to take,” she added.

Despite the long year, Linda said her family now donates when they can to the Red Cross to help others in a similar situation.

“You just don’t think about all they do,” she said.

Michelle Jackson lived with her mother and her two young children in Shepherdsville when a house fire in August took everything they had.

“The kids took the most damage,” Michelle said. “The firemen saved a few dolls.”

With children ages 7 and 5, Michelle said the Red Cross was beneficial to their situation.

“They gave us food, clothes and bath supplies, which was really the best thing,” she said. “You just don’t think about how crazy everything is going to be.”

Michelle credited Crenshaw with helping with insurance issues and getting a report from Shepherdsville Fire.

The family will soon return to their newly-built home, currently staying with in-laws. Michelle said Red Cross was also providing some furniture, including new beds for the children.

Michelle had an opportunity to thank Crenshaw and other Red Cross employees during the meal distribution.

“You guys have been just awesome to me,” she said.

For more information on the Bullitt/Spencer County American Red Cross, or to make a donation, call (502)955-6259.