Volunteers and staff of the Holton Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) are working together to address unmet needs in Ripley County as the area recovers from the March 2 tornado.
The LTRG has mobilized volunteers and resources in an organized manner to provide assistance to individuals and families who continue to have unmet needs after pursuing insurance, FEMA, and other means of assistance.
Holton’s staff consists of a case manager, Cynthia Melton, who helps each family affected by the disaster to develop a recovery plan by assessing needs, verifying assistance, and advocating for resources; construction manager, Darin Kroger, who oversees home repair and rebuilding projects; and a volunteer manager, Philip Deiwert, who recruits and coordinates volunteer groups, matching skills and experience to community needs.
The LTRG staff has received both training and support from Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and other partners, including United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Catholic Charities, Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR), International Disaster Emergency Services (IDES) and United Way.
Holton LTRG has received extensive support from Holton Christian Church, Hopewell Baptist Church, St. John’s Catholic Church, Catholic Charities, Holton Fire Department the Town of Holton, American Red Cross and many other organizations.
The Lilly Endowment donated $3.15 million to be put towards the recovery efforts in the five Indiana counties affected by the March 2 storms; in addition to Ripley County, Clark, Jefferson, Scott and Washington counties will receive funds distributed by the IND Fund. The Holton recovery project was recently awarded an initial grant out of those funds, which will be used for demolition, debris removal, and leveling and grading of properties that were severely damaged during the storm. Demolition contracts were awarded to two local contractors and work has already begun to ready the lots for rebuilding.
You can help by donating construction materials, tools, labor or furniture. Additionally, cash donations can be accepted through the Ripley County Community Foundation, which is serving as the group’s fiscal agent.
Volunteers are also needed. The LTRG is currently scheduling both skilled and unskilled volunteers to help with demolition and rebuilding projects through the fall. They also need volunteers with specific skills to serve on various committees - including individuals with expertise in real estate, insurance, legal, financial management and construction.
If you would like to be involved in the recovery efforts, please call the Holton Long Term Recovery office at 812-689-1300, or email the group at Holton.LTR@gmail.com.