Ted Blome and his wife were kicking around vacation ideas when she said, “How about we plan a trip to Iowa and help the farmers?”
Blome had been part of a similar effort back in the 80s on a trip to Missouri to help the flood victims with great success so they decided to give it a shot. The Blomes contacted the Iowa Farm Bureau and got in touch with a Linn County representative who told them they could essentially go down any country road and pull in a driveway and be received with open arms. They were told the destruction of buildings, homes, and fields was devastating.
This conversation led to a connection with Lana Robison from the area, who has been coordinating people from outside the community with places to go and help. Her small town of Atkins, Iowa lost roofs on their fire department, multiple schools, and more. She said nearly every house in their town has damage and farmers are in desperate need of help. Many of them don’t even know where to begin. She said cleaning trees and, more importantly, field clean up are huge needs for them as they are unable to even till the corn under until they get the debris cleaned up. It is a huge, daunting task.
Blome is also working with the Lutheran church camp in Solon, Iowa to potentially set up base camp, possibly using residential cabins or sleeping quarters.
Blome is setting up a Facebook page dedicated to this trip and helping the farmers in Iowa as well as an opportunity to donate online. This will be managed by Christ Community Church of Ridgeville Corners.
“There is no obligation that individuals be a church member anywhere or of a certain faith. We are just looking for people with a heart to give a helping hand,” Blome said. “We will be asking for individuals who are either willing to tent camp or bring their camper along to stay in for their residence as all hotels are being used by utility workers and those who lost their entire homes. They are busing utility workers as far as 2 hours away back and forth, so they have a hotel room.”
Blome’s group is planning on leaving Saturday Sept. 12 and returning on Sept. 19 or Sept. 20.
“We will be seeking funds to help with gas, tolls, and food while there as well as water and other supplies potentially needed to help with the cleanup,” Blome said. “All going will be asked to bring hand tools, chain saws, gloves etc. We will be compiling a list as we get the web site up and the needs figured out.”
Feel free to contact Blome at 419-822-4015 for more.