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Clay, W.Va. - Debris, and items carried from homes were still here and there along the roads in Clay. Down along the banks of the Elk River, a pile of branches, trash, a hot water tank and other items remain. However, the signs of the devastating June floods are slowly fading as the community rebuilds. People were going up and down the street as the town prepares for the annual Golden Delicious Apple Festival. The carnival rides were being prepped, and a banner hanging over Main Street announced fireworks. Clay Health Care Center (HCC), through volunteerism and donations from the AMFM Charitable Foundation have been working towards helping the recovery effort.

On Wednesday, Executive Director Jessica Fowler and Social Worker Michelle Cutshall presented the Clay County High School athletic department with a $1,500 donation. Clay HCC had joined with other AMFM centers and corporate office employees to help clean out homes damaged. One of those homes was for local Clay historian Jerry Stover, who was working to preserve as many items and papers related to the county’s history as possible. While traveling to Clay County High School for the donation, the two dropped off a mattress and box spring set to the N. H. Dyer Health Center, who has been collecting mattresses and beds for the community.

“We brought food here to the community for three weeks in July. We would go to the relief center to see who needed help but just ended up going up roads handing out food,” Fowler said. Clay Health Care Center also joined with other AMFM centers and corporate office employees to help clean out homes damaged. Fowler said at first families were reluctant to take the donated food. “They are proud and wanting to make their own way, even in disaster.”

“Roads and bridges were washed out, and people needed help. Kids would follow us wanting food and water.” After a while, Clay HCC got to know the people on their daily route of deliveries.

Although the majority of the high school was spared of flooding, the lower-level that housed the athletic equipment, uniforms, weights and other training tools were destroyed as the water came just below the ceiling. Immediately, people began helping to clean and salvage what they could. Principal Melinda Isaacs, “The graciousness, the kindness of people has been amazing.” Jason Nichols, starting his very first head coaching job this season. His first experience before even coaching a game was rebuilding, and having the team ready for their first game. “The kids are so appreciative of the things they have. Before the flood, kids took some of the things we had for granted. What happened has brought them together, and supporting each other.” These kids were coming to help even after losing their own homes and belongings. Some kids have missed practice because they are working on rebuilding their homes still.

There are a lot of items that still need replaced that most people wouldn’t think about. In addition to having to replace uniforms, pads, safety equipment, the athletic department needs to replace the grass seed and supplies that maintain the football field, which is being used much more than in the past because the team’s practice field was destroyed by the flooding.

“We need sprinkler heads, ice machines, even a dry erase board and blank DVDs so we can break down game film,” Nichols said. Clay Health Care Center has more donations planned to help different recovery efforts. The donation was made possible through the AMFM Charitable Foundation, Inc. The foundation provides money to AMFM’s family of 16 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities to support community events, charities and programs.