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Lowe’s donates items that will be distributed to people affected by the tornadoes in western Kentucky earlier this month. Lowe’s general manager Cody McGee and his leadership team gathered hats, socks, cleaning supplies, trash bags, buckets and laundry detergent to send to those in need. Upshur County resident David Beckner organized a distribution center and will be driving supplies to Kentucky for those affected by the tornadoes. Supplies of items such as clothing and toys can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the lot across from Floyd Sign Company in Buckhannon. Pictured with McGee and Beckner are members of the Lowe’s Leadership Team, including Jack Bowles, Joyce Dagly and Kelly Scott, as well as Buckhannon mayor Robbie Skinner, city recorder Randy Sanders and volunteer Bricen Rexroad. / Photo by Beth Christian Broschart

Lowe’s pitches in to assist in local relief effort for western Kentucky; Upshur residents can still donate Tuesday

BUCKHANNON – The general manager of Lowe’s on Monday donated items to an Upshur County man who is partnering with local businesses and organizations to transport and distribute donations to those affected by the damaging tornadoes in and around Mayfield, Kentucky.

Lowe’s general manager Cody McGee Buckhannon mayor Robbie Skinner reached out to him a few days ago regarding the efforts of David Beckner.

“Lowe’s, in general, has given a lot of monetary donations to families in need down in Kentucky,” McGee said. “When they reached out and told me what David was doing, I thought it was a great thing from a community standpoint. We decided to jump on board and get supplies that the residents down there need. Everything we could provide, from hats to socks, cleaning chemicals, trash bags, laundry detergent – just anything they need – we gathered it together to donate.”

McGee said donations from businesses, organizations and residents in Upshur County have grown to the point that Becker has outgrown his original plan for transporting the donations to Kentucky.

“It went from one box trailer to three box trailers,” Beckner said. “As of now, it is going to take a 53-foot semi-truck and trailer.”

Beckner said they are still set up and accepting donations through Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, across from Floyd Sign Company.

“We will be there from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday accepting donations,” Beckner said. “We have received all kinds of donations including money and toys. We could really use some more men’s clothes – preferably new clothes – but we will also accept gently used items.”

Other ideas for donations Beckner mentioned were items he feels people could use such as pillows, air mattresses and personal care items.

“Dr. (Matthew) Malone donated cases of toothbrushes and toothpaste,” Beckner said. “We did not even think of that, but that is something they really need.”

McGee said Lowe’s has always tries to be active in the community.

“Anything we get involved in, whether it is in our Upshur County community or outside, I want it to impact a great number of people and not just affect one household or one family,” McGee said. “Something like this could affect hundreds of thousands of people, and that is what we want to be involved in. Same thing here in Buckhannon: we want to make sure it affects the whole community and not just one aspect of the community.”

Skinner offered thanks to Beckner for bringing the Buckhannon-Upshur community together to help others in need.

“Mayfield, Kentucky is a very small community that is very similar to Buckhannon, and I know a lot of people here are very interested in donating and being a part of the recovery effort there,” Skinner said. “We know what it is like to live in a small community that has faced its own set of tragedies over the years and others have come to our aid.”

Skinner spoke about the flooding in West Virginia in 2016 which ravaged southern West Virginia.

“Kentucky and other states came to our need, so I think it is important to be good neighbors,” Skinner said. “I am proud to live in a community that wants to give back.”

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