Joyful music filled the air as community members donated money and items for flood victims during a benefit concert Saturday at Fort Calhoun High School.
Boxes of donated items, including bottled water, paper towels, cleaning supplies and non-perishable food, lined one wall of the auxiliary gym. The concert, organized by Abiding Faith Baptist Church and performed by the Stangl Family, also raised $900.
“It's just great to see the community come out and see everyone be willing to help their neighbors,” Pastor Chris Eastman said. “It's great to see that whether it's the neighbors across the street or neighbors the next city over.”
Fort Calhoun Mayor Mitch Robinson echoed Eastman's sentiment.
“The devastation of people so close to our community is just horrendous. It's nice that we have neighbors who look out for each other,” he said. “When they say Nebraska Strong, this is really a good indication of it.”
Phil Green with the Washington County Long Term Recovery, a volunteer organization formed after the 2011 Missouri River flood, encouraged those in attendance to become involved.
“Ultimately, at the end of the day, months down the road, there is probably still some long-term unmet needs that exists for many of those families and that's where our group comes into play,” Green said.
The group is currently recruiting caseworkers, Green said.
“If you're willing to be friend to somebody, to be a caseworker and come along side them, I'd encourage you to contact our group,” he said.
Robinson and his brother Sheriff Mike Robinson also recognized the first responders for their efforts. Many took time away from their families to risk their lives to save others.
Though the process is just starting, the sheriff said he knows Washington County will recover.
“We'll get through this one just like we did in 2011,” he said.