A group of young leaders from Lexington Christian Academy’s (LCA) Chick-fil-A Leader Academy recently made their first trip to Appalachia to help Christian Appalachian Project’s continued recovery efforts for flood victims. Nearly two months after back-to-back winter storms and historic flooding tore through Central Appalachia, residents are still struggling to put their lives back together.
“The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is about impacting the greater community. We are honored to partner with CAP and have that opportunity,” said Keith Galloway, assistant principal and athletic chaplain at LCA.
The group of 13 LCA students and four staff/parents helped CAP’s Housing Program staff and volunteers install new insulation and dry wall in two Rockcastle County homes that were underwater just a few weeks ago. This trip served as part of the academy’s annual impact project, Galloway said.
Melissa Bruner and her daughter, Colby, served side by side as they worked in one of the homes belonging to an elderly man who lives alone. The Bruner family does a lot of service together, but for the mother-daughter team, it was their first time serving in Eastern Kentucky and experiencing the needs of the people there.
“I think it is so important for the students to see those who might be struggling and how they can serve others,” Melissa said. “It not only enriches (the participant’s) life, but it also enriches the students’ lives. The Bible commands us to go out and to serve and to create community and relationships with others.”
Being their first time serving in Appalachia for several students, Colby and her peers were struck by the quiet beauty they experienced in the mountains and the poverty and challenges the people face.
“It’s amazing being the hands and feet of Christ today,” said Colby, who is a sophomore at LCA. “This is definitely different from what we usually do, and in a different area. I think it’s important to serve in all kinds of ways and in different opportunities.”
Without donors, volunteers, and partners like LCA, CAP would not be able to continue its mission of building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia.
“These are just two homes we are helping today, and we know there are several others that are in the same situation and the same condition,” Galloway said. “I hope this experience becomes contagious at LCA that (the students) will want to spend a day of their week or more this summer to come back and knock out some of these projects. I hope they take away new skills and see the need doesn’t just wrap up when they leave today.”
After the floods, CAP’s Disaster Relief and Housing Programs completed 160 home assessments and had teams on the ground in the communities surrounding Floyd, Johnson, Rockcastle, and Lawrence Counties. More than 100 employees, volunteers, and community members clocked more than 3,900 hours in disaster relief assistance. Recovery efforts are ongoing.