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Finding The Helpers During Derecho Recovery

Chainsaw gang.jpg
Courtesy of Channing Smith
The chainsaw gang.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe introduces us to the helpers who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the aftermath of the derecho.

After the storm hit on August 10th, as soon as the winds died down and people began to take stock of the damage, neighbors started helping neighbors by clearing trees from roads, caring for children, sharing food and generators. Patrick Rashed, owner of the Caribbean Kitchen food truck was one of those moved to help, cooking and giving away food in hard-hit neighborhoods.

We’ve all seen the terrible damage the storm inflicted on Cedar Ridge Apartments in Cedar Rapids. We know about the people left homeless and without help, many of them refugees who suddenly felt like they were back in the refugee camps they had come from. For days after the storm they waited for help, but it didn’t seem like it was coming. When people learned about what was going on, help came. One of those helpers is Lemi Tilahun of Refugee RISE.

You'll also hear from "the chainsaw gang," led by Matt Jorgenson and Channing Smith of North Liberty. They have cleared more than 130 yards of trees and debris.

Kristen Roberts of the United Way of East Central Iowa, which has been organizing volunteers all over the place, joins to share how you can help. You can reach the United Way of East Central Iowa at 224-406-1366.


Patrick Rashed, owner, Caribbean Kitchen

Matt Jorgenson, leader, #Chainsawgang

Channing Smith, leader, #Chainsawgang

Lemi Tilahun, community school coordinator, Hoover Community School and program supervisor, Refugee RISE

Kristin Roberts, CEO, United Way of East Central Iowa

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa