LOUISA COUNTY, Va. — A community spent just five days planning The Snow Heroes Lunch to feed 1,000 first responders who helped their county following last Monday’s winter storm.
Dozens of volunteers filled an East Main Street shopping center parking lot in Louisa on Tuesday morning despite bitterly cold temperatures.
They created an assembly line of grills, crockpots, drinks, sides, and desserts as volunteers packed to-go containers.
Pastor Nick Stever, of The Point Church’s Louisa campus, said a phone conversation on Thursday with his colleague, Wesley Chiles, prompted them to give back.
“We recognize the people who just give hours and hours of their time — working overtime away from their families, being out in the cold themselves. We love them, we are thankful,” Stever said.
Chiles brought his crew from his landscaping company to man the assembly line while others cooked hamburgers on the grill.
The January 3 storm knocked out power to 97 percent of Louisa’s residents and closed streets for days.
“Last week has been a test in patience, understanding, and compassion,” Louisa County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tracy Clark said.
Clark helped coordinate much of the event with the goal to feed 1,000 first responders in just three hours.
They shared stories of strangers helping strangers during the worst of the storm.
“We got volunteers to go around to 12 different hotels with most of them in Richmond and picked up laundry,” Clark stated. “We had volunteers at a laundromat that took care of washing for 70 workers in literally 12 hours.”
Louisa County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Ronnie Roberts talked about his deputies who brought their own chainsaws to clear roads to respond to emergencies.
“It kind of reminds you of a war zone where the pines and trees were taken down with the amount of weight,” he said.
Volunteers filled Omari Daniels’ truck with supplies to take back to his coworkers at Central Virginia Electric Cooperative.
“Most of our guys leave home at 5:30 in the morning and get back home at 11 [at night]. They can’t get nothing to eat. We appreciate what the community is doing,” Daniels said.
The groups fed workers local to Louisa and those who traveled from miles away to help the clean-up and restoration efforts.
“We’ve been non-stop for the last week and a half now,” Daniels stated. “Working every day, 16 hour days — sometimes 18 hour days.”
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