The Verde Valley’s collective goodness has been clearly evident in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Thanks to a mind-blowing avalanche of donations of everything from bottled water to baby diapers to dog food, Verde Valley residents truly answered the call to carry the burdens of those in need.
Two local residents, in particular, took it a step further by personally making sure the community’s local donations ended up in the hands of those who need it most.
For Jet Foley, the owner of RIOT in Old Town, the peril in South Texas was personal. She is from Houston and was torn by the devastation inflicted on her former community. She immediately began taking donations and borrowed a trailer and truck to personally transport them to people in need in South Texas.
The experience, Foley explained, has been life-changing: “The couple of days I spent going through the neighborhoods and talking and giving to so many who lost was the best experience of my life,” she said.
Likewise, soon after the Hurricane made landfall in Texas, Ken Wood, owner of A1 Supreme Moving in the Verde Valley, began making the rounds to organize a Verde Valley relief effort. Vinnie’s Pizza in Cottonwood stepped up and volunteered a building to warehouse the local donations that came in by the truckload.
Thursday, Wood and his team of volunteers – including the Cottonwood Fire Dept. – began the task of loading the moving trucks with the mountain of supplies donated by Verde Valley residents. In the end, the volunteers loaded three trucks and Wood and his cadre of drivers hit the road for Texas. He texted the Verde Independent/Camp Verde Bugle late Friday afternoon to say the trio of moving trucks were about 100 miles from the Texas border.
The plan, explained Wood, was to drive to Kemp, Texas, where the A1 Moving drivers consulted with the U.S. Marine Corp. on where the priority needs are in Houston and elsewhere in South Texas. Wood committed to personally deliver the Verde Valley donations to the people and communities that need them most, and to document the efforts on Facebook.
While the entire Verde Valley has let its light shine brightly in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we all certainly own Foley and Wood a debt of gratitude for going the extra mile – well over 1000 miles, in fact – to show that our Verde Valley community will not turn a blind eye to those in need.
Our collective motivation was best summed up by Wood: “Human kindness. Help somebody.”
And it was Wood and Foley who personally gave a face and helping hand to our community’s collective kindness.