JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (September 21, 2017)—On Thursday, September 21, 2017, Appalachia Service Project (ASP) received the Tennessee Best Award for Remarkable Achievement—Rural, at the Governor’s Housing Summit in Nashville, TN. The award was presented by Ralph Perry, THDA President, Kim Grant Brown, THDA Board Chairman, and Dorothy Cleaves, THDA Board Vice Chairman. The award honored ASP’s role in disaster recovery for low-income residents in Sevier County, Tennessee, after the wildfires of November 2016 that swept through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Kim Grant Brown spoke of ASP’s achievement during the presentation stating, “ASP started quickly and without hesitation when wildfires destroyed almost 2,000 buildings in Sevier county late last year.”
Upon receiving the award, ASP’s CEO, Walter Crouch, commented that “we are humbled and thankful for the recognition of our work, but we are not done supporting the Sevierville community during this time, we will continue to rebuild.”
ASP has taken an active role in disaster recovery efforts in Sevier County, Tennessee. The organization has committed to building 25 new homes to help low-income residents of the area recover from the wildfires. Two of those homes have already been completed, and construction will be completed on two additional homes by the end of September 2017.
Glenna Ogle received the first new home from ASP in Sevier County. Glenna lost her home, vehicle, pets and belongings in the wildfires. Ernest Ogle received the second home—allowing him to celebrate his 75th birthday in his new home. The third recipient will be Trula Mae Bible, Ernest Ogle’s 84-year-old, blind sister. The fourth recipient will be Carroll McKinney who lost both his home and his business in the fire.
Partners for the 25 homes ASP has committed to building in the next year include the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, Mullican Flooring, Volunteer East Tennessee, and the Mountain Tough Recovery Team.
In 2013, ASP won their first Tennessee’s Best Award for Excellence in Partnership at the Governor’s Housing Summit for their ability to bring people together for disaster recovery efforts after the Washington County, Tennessee floods in 2012.
ASP is also currently undergoing a multi-year disaster relief campaign in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, after the massive flood of June 2016. The flood—one of the worst in state history—destroyed over 1,000 homes statewide and 23 people lost their lives. The town of Rainelle was devastated, including 90% of the homes near the downtown area. Many of Rainelle’s low-income homeowners were unable to rebuild their homes because they have no insurance, were unable to qualify for emergency loans and had few personal resources. Those families are the focus of ASP’s long-term recovery efforts through Rebuilding Rainelle. To date, almost 50 new homes have been built.
ABOUT APPALACHIA SERVICE PROJECT
Appalachia Service Project (ASP), is a Christian ministry, open to all people, that inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair and replacement in Central Appalachia. Since 1969, ASP volunteers have been making homes warmer, safer and drier for families in need in Central Appalachia and providing life-transforming experiences for everyone involved. In recent years ASP has expanded its outreach to include building new homes for low-income families whose homes were destroyed by fire or flooding, and others whose homes are beyond repair. This year, over 16,000 ASP volunteers will work in 5 different Central Appalachia states to help over 500 families with home repairs and new construction.
Walter B. Crouch, ASP President/CEO
(865) 368-9380 cell/text
Dave Kelley, ASP Chief Advancement Officer
(423) 607-1156 cell/text
Visit ASP’s Newsroom (http://asphome.org/newsroom) for a fact sheet about Appalachia Service Project, downloadable press releases, photos, and other information.