A wise investor once said, “If you aren’t losing money somewhere in your portfolio, you aren’t truly diversified.” It’s a helpful reminder that real diversification involves owning assets that are sufficiently different from each other that some zig while others zag.
One of our fabulous logistics volunteers was happily spreading the news about a Gaylord shipment, a truck full arriving soon. Wow, I was thinking, I wonder what Gaylord Entertainment is donating? The closest Gaylord location to us is the Opryland Hotel & Resort in Nashville where I saw one of the Titanic Exhibits several years back. Well, they might have sent some relief supplies to Kentucky, but the gaylord you want for disaster relief is something altogether different.
Gaylords are large, strong boxes that fit on a pallet and allow you to organize volumes of product and move them about with a forklift or pallet jack. You’ve probably seen them at your local grocery filled with watermelons or pumpkins. Sometimes they are called gaylord bins or pallet boxes.
For a while, we were sorting donations from the soccer building into wheelbarrows. Each wheelbarrow took hands to load it, move it, sort it out onto tables in the expo building. Now one person with a pallet jack can bring 5 times as much in one trip, and volunteers sort from the gaylord straight onto tables. It’s difficult to describe how helpful these gaylords have been to our supply operation for tornado survivors, especially as the number of volunteers we have fluctuates and wanes. Right now when I picture some of the supplies, I see 14 small bicycles in one gaylord and dozens of rubber workboots that volunteers don to clean debris up out of local farm fields in another. Fabulous.
So what I learned from working disaster relief is that a gaylord is the best kind of box for working supply distribution. I’ve gone from not knowing what people were talking about to actually having my favorite kind of gaylord. As always, we are so grateful for every supply and box donated big or small. The road to recovery and rebuild is slow and long here in west Kentucky.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
Kristin King has been working at the Tornado Relief Supply Center in Mayfield Kentucky for three months. Her location, the Mayfield Graves County Fairgrounds, is one of the few still taking donations. Most needed items are construction supplies, small kitchen appliances, and all the sundries tornado survivors need as they move from shelters into residences. Coffee pots and electric skillets are a couple of the most requested items folks want to replace. Volunteers are also needed five days a week.
You might be working disaster relief if you hear yourself saying to a fellow volunteer, “You can come in at 8am if you want, but tomorrow’s my day off. I won’t be here till nine.”
–Kristin King is going on month three of working at the Tornado Relief Supply Center in Mayfield Kentucky. Her location, the Mayfield Graves County Fairgrounds, is one of the few still taking donations. Most needed items are construction supplies, small kitchen appliances and all the sundries tornado survivors need to move from shelters into residences.
A woman was waiting in line to enter our supply distribution center at the Mayfield Graves County Fairgrounds. At this point we used a digital sign-in system. Glancing up at her as I filled in the blanks, I asked about other needs she had.
“I could really use some fresh meat, you know,” she looked past me to the tables stacked with nonperishables. “It’s really great all these canned goods and crackers….”
What I said back I really don’t remember. Her downcast face, the droop in her shoulders as she expressed her thanks and moved on, making way for the next person in line.
Within five minutes a man walked in the door with a box full of ground beef. I couldn’t wait to find her. The smiles on so many faces as we handed out that fresh food. “I’m gonna put this in the spaghetti sauce for my kids,” one lady said.
All I could think was how amazing God is. He hears every spoken word, a wish that becomes a prayer. So much can change, can lift our hopes as it lifts our shoulders. “But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, And the lifter of my head.” Psalms 3:3
There are lots of chemicals that shouldn’t even be stored near each other, especially in a disaster relief center where lots of people come through every day. Some are more dangerous than others and are dangerous in your home as well.
NOTE: Don’t store the pallets of bleach next to the pallets of hand sanitizer. An accidental mixture, maybe by forklift puncture, can make chloroform or hydrochloric acid.
Breathing too much [chloroform] can kill you. Hydrochloric acid can give you a chemical burn. The chemicals can cause organ damage and lead to cancer and other diseases later in life.
There are actually several dangerous combinations with bleach and even the go-to “natural” vinegar with which so many clean. Check out a quick list at the ThoughtCo
If you would like to help us recover from tornado devastation, please visit MayfieldStrong.com.
Kristin King is an author, mother of four adopted sons, real Army wife (retired), and is currently not writing much as she would like while she works many hours at the Mayfield Tornado Relief Center in her Kentucky hometown. Kristin’s service work regularly includes Future Hope Africa and CASA of Graves Co. and Southwest KY. Love God. Love people.
The holidays are a blur as 90+ hour work weeks take over my life. Yes, I had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. Yes, I’ll get New Year’s Day off. The end isn’t in sight though. And, oh, did I mention I’m a volunteer?
Forget exam week. Forget waiting tables. Never in my life have I kept up such a pace for so many days on end. Straight up? I didn’t think I was capable of it. There is something incredibly powerful about discovering you can do something hard, and huge that has a profound impact on people around you. Almost as profound as the impact they have on you.
This is the life, the holidays, for many in our tornado-ravaged community in West Kentucky. First responders, law enforcement officers, paramedics, civic leaders, teachers, students, retirees, and many others continue to log grueling hours day after day.
Everyone exceeds expectations.
On the final stretch of the third week since our hometown of Mayfield Kentucky became a rubble-strewn wasteland in the path of what might be the longest constant-ground-contact tornado in recorded history, we get to see the beauty of humankind as we’ve never experienced it. There are still folks driving in with personally collected donations from communities over 16 hours away. This week I met and volunteered with people from Wisconsin, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Montana, Louisiana, the Carolinas, the Philippines, and both Dakotas.
“This donation is from Jordan,” one conversation went.
“Jordan? Jordan what? Ohio?”
“Jordan,” the response came, “in the Middle East.”
As a child, I read about the Wonders of the World and wanted to travel. As an Army spouse, I’ve traversed many countries, seen fabulous sights, experienced different cultures and met interesting people. Right now, though, the hometown so many were anxious to escape after high school has become a living wonder that I am blessed to experience every day. I wish I could meet every person who made this happen and give you a hug.
Tidal waves of compassion keep rolling over our small corner of the world. The undertow drags away hopelessness.
So I just want to say, thank you.
I am grateful to God for each one of you and pray to meet you in the sweet by and by.
–Kristin King is the Treasurer of the Mayfield Graves County Parks Board which oversees the local fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds Tornado Relief Center is the biggest point of distribution of supplies in the area and the only location still taking in-kind donations on a large scale. Learn more on Facebook by making a virtual visit to the Mayfield Graves County Fairgrounds. #MayfieldStrong
This is random, but I’ve wondered for awhile what other sorts of plastic bags can go in those store-bag drop off containers. Turns out there is quite a bit.
Like me, you’ve probably never searched over the bulk plastic packaging when you purchase items like toilet paper. A lot of those bags are marked somewhere with #2 HDPE or #4 LDPE which means these also can go in the store bag drop. This includes bread and ziplock baggies.
Watch out though, veggie bags and frozen food bags cannot go in those bins even if they are clean and free from all food particles as the drop offs require. Veggie and frozen food bags have extra ingredients that make them a contaminant that would mess up the recycling of the the other bags.
“Well, I’ve heard the stores just throw those bags in the trash anyway, so it’s not worth the effort.” I’ve heard that rumor too. However, many stores do what is right. I can’t let my decisions to what is good for our planet rest on whether or not others are making the effort. If we all did that, nothing would get done.
As another run on toilet paper begins, consider recycling that packaging if you can. These bags cannot go in your regular recycling bins for plastic curbside or at local/area recyling, but there are lots of stores where they can go. For more information and locations near you visit this website today.
That bag of bags may sit in the closet or back of the car forgotten for several trips to the store like mine often do. That’s okay. Grab it the next time, or the time after that.
I didn’t do A2Z in 2020. Schooling at home unexpectedly and changing schedules constantly was enough at the time. For 2021, though, I picked my theme quickly. The Lost Drafts. I have over 80 drafts sitting on wordpress waiting for a bit of polish, or a note about a photo or experience. Most of them come from our time as expats living in Holland or are about Food.
The A2Z Blog Challenge is one hundreds of bloggers take up. We blog six days a week for the whole month of April. Personally, if I was choosing the month, it would have been July. Similar deal with anyone who’s tried NaNoWriMo. I would have chosen February instead of November to try to crank out 50K words in a month.
So here’s to April 2021, the month full of Lost Drafts of Holland, Food & Me!
My niece recently moved to the Hopi reservation to outfit what they call a G-house which stands in the snow right now with no electric or plumbing. I think she will blogging about that experience soon, and I hope to share that with you, but I discovered some friends of ours were living an alternative lifestyle right under our noses.
Dave and Steph live “out in the county” in a normal two bedroom, one bath place with a nice garden and an aged piece of an orchard, but Dave only works 5 months a year.
Working from home jumped into the mainstream in 2020, but a lot of people have remote jobs so that they can travel and do more of what they enjoy. Often these folks are “digital nomads,” and if the lifestyle interests you you can find lots of websites, like this one, to learn more. Another option is to do work that pays well enough in some months to do what you want the others. Why wait till retirement when you may or may not be able to live those dreams?
Dave is living his dream with Steph. For 5 months he works in Alaska on “the boat” doing seasonal work delivering goods to rural places that desperately need these supplies. It’s not easy work or easy for a couple with Steph at home working for a local nonprofit where she serves some of the neediest children in four counties.
Their sacrifice pays off when Dave is home for 7 months with full-time availability to his family and their chosen lifestyle. Dave is a hunter, and I love to hear about their latest meals from Steph. The Mongolian beef recipe made with venison intrigues me. I would love to try Steph’s curried chicken made with wild turkey or try curried duck. They don’t go to the store for most of their meat; they go to their deep freezer where a bountiful harvest awaits.
This week I saw a report in my local paper from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources titled “Deer season yields a top-five harvest total.”
Deer hunters not only bring home healthy venison for their families and help keep the deer population in check, but they also contribute heartily to Kentucky’s economy….Each year, deer hunting generates over $550 million in economic impact through retail expenditures, yields over $86 million in tax revenues to sustain public services and supports more than 13,000 jobs in the Commonwealth [i.e. Kentucky] (The Mayfield-Messenger).
That’s one rural state in the middle of the U.S. and only one part of the hunting and fishing that goes on across North America. The numbers knocked my proverbial socks off.
When times seem uncertain and we’ve all experienced supply chains breaking down, I am pleased to know that my family lives in a place where people still have the resources and wherewithal to eck out a living from the land around us. I’m grateful to have friends like Steph and Dave for this and many reasons.
Like the old song says, country folks can survive.