Volunteers in Waverly to scale back efforts this week - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Volunteers in Waverly to scale back efforts this week

Volunteers gather at the Fresh Pride in Waverly. (Source: NBC12) Volunteers gather at the Fresh Pride in Waverly. (Source: NBC12)

Emergency response crews are preparing to scale back their efforts as those impacted the hardest from Wednesday’s tornado get back on their feet in Waverly.

In such little time, a lot has been done to get the town back to normal, but the reality is, there's still much more work to be done.

Who could forget the bright smile of the adorable two-year-old Ian? His life was cut short in Wednesday's deadly tornado, and so was the life of his mother's boyfriend, Larry Turner.

"I grew up with his mother, with Larry's mother," said William Ricks, who has traveled from Hopewell to Waverly since Thursday to offer relief.

He’s volunteering through the American Legion.

"She's doing well about as well as you can expect with something like that," said Ricks. "I went by this morning and talked to her."

Meantime, donations continue to flood a vacant grocery store, which serves as a pick-up site for victims in need of the basics.

"They come up and they tell the number of people in their family or how many people are in the house… and basically there are pre-packaged boxes and water," Ricks explained.

It comes as homes and businesses are still being boarded and tarped. Volunteers are helping make it happen. Over the weekend, organizers expected about 250 volunteers to help. They got over 700.

"And these are folks who have registered," said Joe Poe, who is coordinating volunteer efforts. "Countless numbers of individuals have been here as well, who didn’t get a chance to register or who went directly into the field to get the work done."

Poe is serving with the Southern Baptist Convention.

"Amazing. That's probably the best word I can use to describe it," said Poe.

So much so, he says there will no longer be a need for volunteers by the middle of the week.

"At this point, things are starting to calm down," said Poe. "We’re getting the community where it needs to be."

A slow but steady process as Waverly looks ahead in the wake of a tornado's deadly aftermath.

"We're resilient, and we're going to weather the storm," said Hicks.

Those who would like to donate to relief efforts can continue to do so at the Fresh Pride store at 233 S County Drive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. The one-stop donation location will close its doors by the end of the day Wednesday.

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