This is the story of recovery.
No one has to be reminded of the devastation caused by the June flooding that wiped away houses, businesses and lives in southern West Virginia.
In places like Alderson, the people now are looking forward, looking ahead, finding ways to rebuild however they can.
The Alderson Artisans Gallery, a nonprofit, cooperative gallery that sells local works and provides arts and crafts classes, is one of the community gathering places at the heart and soul of this small town on the border of Greenbrier and Monroe counties.
As the flood waters rose on that night of June 23, local citizens dashed to the gallery building just feet from the rapidly swelling Greenbrier River, pulling artworks off the walls and saving what they could. Late into the night, the roar of the river eventually forced the art rescuers to retreat to safety.
The artworks were saved, and, fortunately, the historic building itself can be restored.
But the displays, office furniture, and all the other pieces of infrastructure needed to keep the gallery running were all lost. For a small, community-run nonprofit, the cost of these losses was devastating.
“Before the gallery opened, people had only a few shopping options and often had to drive long distances to obtain what they needed,” says Jo Perez with Alderson Main Street. “The gallery has been a beautiful and friendly part of our little town. Now it has been ruined.”
So the little gallery is appealing to the general public for help.
They are hoping to raise $3,000 in order to reopen the gallery. Here’s the link to their crowdfunding page.
I’ll be frank with you; they are a long way short. But they have tried applying for grants and finding other means of assistance, and this appears to be their last hope. Please help if you can.