Flooding can bring hardships to everyone and everything it touches. From the loss of a family home and belongings or the loss of a loved one, the effects can be devastating.
PRO (People Reaching Out) West Virginia aims to relieve some of that stress by assisting flood victims with managing their day-to-day lives.
The grant funded, non-profit organization serves Mingo, Logan, McDowell and Wyoming counties, providing free crisis counseling and outreach services to the victims of the June 2010 flood disaster.
"Whatever needs to be done, we have a resource to link victims to," said crisis counselor Jenny Gannaway.
The group serves as an intermediary for flood victims, connecting them to available services from food to furniture, flood insurance help and even how to properly claim a loss on federal income tax returns, PRO WV attempts to help victims in the long-term after federal agencies have left the area.
The primary goal of PRO West Virginia, however, is counseling. The psychological and emotional damage a flood leaves in its wake can be painful and can stop a recovery effort in its tracks.
"It's hard to help with the emotional effects left by a natural disaster if you don't take care of what's wrong, what is causing the stress," said counselor Olivia Coleman.
The organization also assists children and the elderly, the two age-groups that may have the hardest time coping with loss.
The Mingo County Commission as well as the overseer of the grant, Southern Highlands, have been instrumental in funding and providing for PRO West Virginia. The organization also works closely with the four counties' emergency service personnel and can provide help for them if needed.
Though PRO West Virginia can assist flood victims in the long-term, their services will only be available until August 2011.
For more information or to signup, call (304) 235-3656 ext. 419 for the Mingo-Logan branch, (304) 436-2106 ext. 250 for the Wyoming-McDowell branch, or (304) 888-8639.