WinstonStrong helping people and keeping Winston strong

From staff reports

In baseball fans memorize and live by the stats, WinstonStrong is not playing a game yet the numbers are clear on their winning ways.

Winston Strong has helped clients with:
• 17 rebuilds of their homes
• 8 assisted rebuilds
• 17 major rehabs
• 28 repairs
• 11 mobile home set-ups
• 53 additional with relocation costs, furniture and/or appliances.

This means to date WinstonStrong has helped 81 families have a home to feel safe in.

The group has worked over 225 cases.

Of course, they are not stopping at present WinstonStrong has 3 funded rebuilds in progress and 4 homeowners funded to receive cottages for their permanent housing.

The groups is also working on getting funds to help 4 more rebuilds, 1 cottage, and 2 relocations in the group’s case management.

WinstonStrong has been actively partnering with other groups to help tackle the challenges of a community rebuild.

WinstonStrong was born shortly after the April 28, 2014 storms that destroyed homes, property, and the lives of Winston county residents.

Seeing the needs around them residents and local leaders came together to form what was considered at the time a “long-term recovery relief fund.” The fund was immediately setup through the efforts of the Winston County Partnership and its Winston Community Development, Inc 501C3 designation to create the tax deductible fund “WinstonStrong”. Bro. Mike Dowd was named the Winston County Relief Fund chairman to a board of nine members.

After the creation of WinstonStrong, the organization volunteers and committee has worked diligently to provide support raging from the financial, the mental, and the spiritual. Over the past year, WinstonStrong has worked with multiple volunteer organizations, such as Mennonite Disaster Service, Christian Aid Ministries, Samaritian’s Purse and others to rebuild and repair homes and lives all over the county.

One of the lifelines of WinstonStrong during this process has been the generosity of others in donations, being monetary or certain items. Although acquiring funds was sometimes a challenge, the members of WinstonStrong and its partners always found a way to provide for those who were in need. The need for funds is still a priority.

“Another reason for that is our funds are getting low,” Dowd said. “We have some coming in, and we are still in fundraising mode.”

To acquire those needed funds, WinstonStrong is still making a way. “WinstonStrong will be selling t-shirts at the upcoming Red Hill Festival,” Dowd said. “We also have a print at the library by Wyatt Waters that was framed by Stephanie’s. There will be a raffle for it, and we will draw the winner for that at the Red Hills Festival.”

During this entire process, WinstonStrong showed how the spirit of the county was still strong by the speed of the recovery process. Dowd credits some of this to the fact that the recovery effort was led locally.

Dowd is glad that the recovery effort was supported by so many people in the community, and understands that only the people of a community can truly take care of that community.

Anyone wishing to make a donation or volunteer to help may contact the Volunteer Management Coordinator at 405-403-1817 or email volunteers@winstoncounty.org.

If you prefer to donate by check or in person, make your contributions payable to: Winston Community Development Disaster Relief Fund, Renasant Bank, P.O. Box 389, Louisville, MS 39339.

You may also bring your donations to the Winston County Economic Development Partnership/Chamber of Commerce, 311 West Park Street, Louisville, MS 39339.

You may also visit the ‘WinstonStrong’ website www.winstonstrong.org or call 405-403-3404.
This fund is a 501C3 non-profit so all donations are tax deductible.

One of the homes WinstonStrong partnered up with CAM to rebuild and provide a home for a resident who lost hers during the storm.

One of the homes WinstonStrong partnered up with CAM to rebuild and provide a home for a resident who lost hers during the storm.