It's Happening: Small Town, Big Hearts; Neighbors Helping Neighbors

By Julie Perine on July 03, 2018 from It’s Happening via

Wednesday evening brought short-lived winds to the area, which left behind somewhat of a catastrophe in some neighborhoods. Trees fell; some even uprooted. They landed in yards, on homes and buildings, trees and across roadways. Siding and shingles flew off houses and debris was scattered everywhere. One Bridgeport family even experienced a house fire due to fallen power lines.
Anyone who assessed damage in some neighborhoods would consider the incident a disaster, but – as often does happen – what came of it was some good old-fashioned human kindness as people joined together to help one another.
On Thursday, I heard the term “neighbors helping neighbors” used in conservation and on social media. It really caught my attention. Not only did I hear about it, I witnessed it, seeing families – kids and the kids’ friends included – helping neighbors drag limbs and clean up yards.
A few of the many areas hit by the winds were Maple Lake, Worthington Avenue and Cherry Street/lower Pennsylvania Avenue.
Chris Cleghorn shared what happened at Maple Lake Wednesday evening after a large tree – about 40- to 50-feet tall - came down, landing across the homeowners’ stairs leading up to their house and across the road, blocking it from traffic.
Cleghorn said he found out about it after being texted by a neighbor. When he looked outside, he said it scared him because the tree fell where the homeowners usually park their car. 
“I texted them and they weren’t even there,” he said.
Cleghorn, his family and other families put on their boots and work clothes, chainsaws in hand, and took care of the matter.
“We probably had 10 or 12 people out there cutting and hauling,” he said. “There were older people, men, women and kids helping.”
After responding to more dire situations – including the house fire – the fire department did come out, but this instance was one they didn’t have to worry about, thanks to “neighbors helping neighbors.”
Terri Payez of Cherry Street said the same scenario played out in her neighborhood. Folks came from blocks away to check on residents whose property was hit by the storm, seeing what they could do to help. Just the gesture of asking and showing concern makes all the difference.
“I have always said we are a small community with big hearts, helping each other in need,” she said.
A resident of Worthington Drive, Kim Sabo wasn’t home to experience Wednesday’s storm or the immediate aftermath. But she talked to neighbors and found out what was happening in her neighborhood and that was tree dragging, cutting, hauling, sweeping and other shared cleanup efforts.
She summed it up by saying:
“I love being from West Virginia. It’s now WHO we are, it’s HOW we are.”
You may have your own story about neighbors helping neighbors after Wednesday’s storm. Feel free to share it by leaving a comment on this story.
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