It came too quickly, the record setting rains that flooded many parts of Belton and surrounding areas. One person died, schools were delayed, main roads were closed and now many homes and businesses continue to suffer major damage.
But because of Belton’s community and the willingness of staff, faculty and students, there is hope.
Different organizations on campus have come together to serve those in need.
Women’s head basketball coach Kim Kirkpatrick-Thornton received an encouraging e-mail asking for help, so she asked some of her players if they wanted to go with her.
“We came down here with Carol Woodward and Tommy Wilson just to help finish some of the clean-up…. Most of it is done around here except the thrift store,” she said.
The team and other volunteers helped sort through clothing donations in the parking lot of the Scott & White Thrift store on Central Avenue. Freshman nursing major Ashley Settles knew about the clean-up, and wanted to do what she could to lend a hand.
“I first heard about it at Focus on Wednesday night, and through my Old Testament professor Dr. Tim Crawford,” Settles said.
Many professors and coaches urged students to participate in aiding the community.
Junior sports management major Miranda Shorter was blown away with the amount of water that came to the Central Avenue area.
“Coach told us about it in open gym, and we thought since we’re here, we might as well try to help out as best we can …. I know the main stuff happened in Salado, but we wanted to help out here as much as we could,” Shorter said.
Thrift store sales clerk Amy Mesecke hopes to reopen soon, but has no idea when the store will be ready to go.
“They took out all the dry wall so the air could circulate inside to dry them up,” Mesecke said.
The thrift store is looking for all types of donations and is also seeking help to set up the store when they do reopen.
“We had a little pantry in there because a lot of the hospice patients can’t cook for themselves, so we have canned goods,” she said. “We need gently used clothing items.”
The community does rely on places like Scott & White Thrift store. Most will get their everyday items because the things they carry are reliable and affordable.
A little help goes a long way. Shorter doesn’t feel as though they helped much with actual clean up but said, “People don’t realize that this is helping out tremendously.”
“Amy was doing this all by herself. The more students that could come out just to unload clothes would be a huge help,” Shorter said.
Kirkpatrick-Thornton feels rewarded to give back.
She said, “They’re very supportive of our athletic programs here. Also, I just feel like we’re fulfilling what Christ has called us to do and give us the opportunity to help somebody else.”