"During the derecho, we spent two months of budget for the programs in two weeks," he said.
Typically, Mountain Mission focuses its services on the Kanawha Valley, serving about 22,000 people across the valley in 2011 with food, housing medication, clothing, furniture and other supplies.
"But when these events happen we cannot control, weather related, it just throws all of that out the window. Hurricane Sandy hit us at a time just after the derecho in July. We were getting the pantry somewhat stocked up, then all of sudden this hits," he said.
"We try to respond very positively and reach out to the families in need. The thing about it is we're generally a Kanawha Valley organization, but when you have a natural disaster to hit you can't put boundaries on that, you've got to reach out to meet the need. You can't stop at a county line. We don't turn people away.
"These organizations that came together today to make this happen, they totally put it together, they're out there collecting in the cold. It makes me feel good to know that I work in an area that people will come to together."
You can still donate cash and items like baby supplies, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food items and winter coats at the Mountain Mission office at 1620 7th Ave on Charleston's West Side. Or call 304-344-3407 or donate money online at mountainmission.com
"Earmark it for the disaster," said Roberts. "We'll make sure that those funds get to where they're supposed to be."
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.