POWHATAN, W.Va. – Best You Best Me Inc., a non-profit organization based in Virginia, will be holding its annual food and clothing drive to support McDowell County families on June 3, 2022, at the Sacred Heart Church in Powhatan, WV.
With the COVID pandemic hitting low-income communities hardest, Best You Best Me’s 2022 event is anticipated to serve where help is needed most. The non-profit is gearing up to distribute over 150 boxes of food together with clothing and other necessities such as kind words, to the communities in McDowell County struggling to make ends meet. Other items will also be available to McDowell County residents, including piles of fresh watermelons, free tacos, house plants, and hundreds of fresh loaves of bread.
In 2021 the Best You Best Me team delivered $20K worth of boxes of food, over 10K in cash donations, 110 bags of clothing, and over 100 blankets to McDowell County, WV. The 2022 food and clothing drive is set to distribute even more.
Best you Best Me has partnered with ProJet Aviation, Recycle Life and Smokehouse Pilots and 9 airplanes are planned to fly in from Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO) with volunteers to help on distribution day.
Individuals and families in need of help are encouraged to come to the Sacred Heart Church in Powhatan from 11 AM on June 3, 2022.
Best You Best Me founder, and CEO of Paramount Business Jets, Richard Zaher, says,
“The whole organization hangs on the philosophy that alleviating suffering in another is alleviating suffering in ourselves.”
“We’re privileged to be able to serve the people of McDowell County once again. It’s a beautiful place with a proud Appalachian heritage and community.”
“This year, we plan to distribute over 150 boxes of food, each feeding a family of four for two weeks, alongside clothing, blankets, shoes, and other supplies and donations as well as lunch for as many people as possible.”
Why McDowell County, WV?
33.2% of the population in McDowell County live below the poverty line, over double the national average. The declining coal industry has taken jobs with it, making this one of the poorest counties in the entire United States.
“We’ve lost more than half our population from people leaving to find jobs,” says Arnold Simonse, a McDowell County native and founder of the Itmann Food Pantry, in a recent Best You Best Me documentary.
“Many folks who are in poverty are ignored and feel that no one cares. So, our job isn’t just to meet the needs of their particular day, but to show that somebody cares.”
Rosie Henderson, another resident of McDowell County, interviewed in the Best You Best Me film, highlights why the plight of struggling families here is everyone’s business.
“The kind of coal that came from here is the kind of coal used to make steel. It made skyscrapers; it made airplanes. It all came from McDowell County, and it has been forgotten.”
Anyone wishing to support the McDowell County 2022 drive can donate online or drop off food donations, clothing, kitchen supplies, kids’ toys, diapers, shoes, sleeping bags, bedding, sweaters, and jackets at Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO) before May 31, 2022. 100% of donations go to the people in McDowell County.
For more details, visit the online information page, or watch the film on YouTube.