UPDATE 3:46 p.m. (7/21/22): After devastating flooding in Buchanan County last week, hundreds of volunteers from various organizations — including a nonprofit from Southside — are responding and offering aid.

These volunteers are providing free meals, medical help, and manpower to bring hope back to the Buchanan County community.

WFXR News’ Kelsey Jean-Baptiste spoke with a representative of God’s Pit Crew — a Danville-based charity organization that arrived in Buchanan County earlier this week — about their efforts to help with disaster recovery efforts.

Organizer Chris Chiles says about 30 volunteers went down to help families impacted by flooding.

“We’ve got muck out crews, so they’re shoveling the mud out of homes, and removing drywall, going through all their personal belongings, trying to find pictures and keepsakes,” said Chiles, adding that he’s got one crew with heavy equipment that’s moving large amounts of mud and debris so families can get to their homes.

However, he says more work needs to be done.

“Thirty-five homes are completely destroyed and need to be demoed,” Chiles said. “There’s another 30 that have major structural damaged.”

According to Chiles, residents are still overwhelmed by all the damage.

“No electricity still,” he told WFXR News. “A lot of them are having to either stay with relatives or in hotels rooms. They’ve got it pretty tough.”

Even with all the good these volunteers are going, God’s Pit Crew says they’re still in need of help.

“We always need donations, but it’s really tough now, you know, costing $1,500 to fill a semi up with diesel fuel,” said Chiles.

On top of that, Chiles says they’re burning lots of gas, feeding volunteers, and running generators every day, so anything you can give is appreciated.

If you would like to volunteer with God’s Pit Crew or provide financial assistance, you can find more information on the nonprofit’s website.



BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Multiple charities and businesses in southwest Virginia are sending emergency supplies and funds down to Buchanan County in response to the devastating flash flood that hit the community last week.

On Friday, July 15, a truck from God’s Pit Crew, arrived in Buchanan County with plenty of blessing buckets, which contain food, Gatorade, a Bible, and cleaning and hygiene supplies.

Then, on Monday, July 18, about 40 to 60 volunteers from the Danville-based nonprofit are set to clean mud from homes and repair the damage caused by the high water. God’s Pit Crew says it will also help demolish the 70 homes that cannot be salvaged.

The charity’s immediate disaster response coordinator, Chris Chiles, says that volunteers can do everything from cleaning and construction to simply providing moral support.

“And then just sitting with these families and letting them hear, letting them tell their story and listening and then just simple things,” Chiles told WFXR News. “We’ll go through and find pictures and keepsakes and we’ll clean it all up and give that to them so they have something.”

If you would like to volunteer with God’s Pit Crew or provide financial assistance, you can find more information on the nonprofit’s website.

Meanwhile, another organization based in the southwest part of the Commonwealth, Food City, says it is teaming up with United Way of Southwest Virginia and various southwest Virginia media outlets — including WFXR’s sister station, WJHL — to host a fundraising campaign to benefit flood relief efforts.

In fact, Food City even pledged a $10,000 contribution to kick off the drive on Friday.

“The lives of many of our friends and neighbors have been devastated by this tragic flooding and we certainly want to do everything possible to provide assistance during this critical time,” said Steven C. Smith, president and CEO of Food City.

According to the company, the campaign will run from Saturday, July 16 through Friday, July 22 in Tri-Cities area Food City locations, allowing customers to make a monetary donations at the checkout.

Food City says 100% of the funds collected will benefit United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Buchanan County 2022 Disaster Fund.

“Food City is always there when their community needs them most, and United Way is proud to partner with Food City and their associates to help get needed resources to our friends in Buchanan County impacted by the floods,” said Travis W. Staton, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Virginia.

Food City also announced on Monday that it teamed up with Proctor & Gamble to bring the Tide Loads of Hope community program to Buchanan County to help flooding victims in the area.

Officials tell WFXR News that Tide Loads of Hope provides clean clothes for families in need, aiming to provide them with a sense of normalcy. The mobile laundromat includes one truck and a fleet of vans, which house over 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers capable of cleaning more than 300 loads of laundry per day. 

“During times of disaster, even the smallest convenience can make a big difference,” said Matt Mueller, senior account executive for Procter & Gamble. “Our Tide Loads of Hope program provides free laundry service and clean clothes during a time when they’re most needed.”

According to Food City, Loads of Hope truck arrived in Buchanan County over the weekend and is currently located at Grundy Baptist Church at 1283 Edgewater Drive. The service is available for area flood victims from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. until capacity is reached.

“Food City is certainly no stranger to disaster,” stated Smith. “Having survived a devastating flood and fire that destroyed our flagship store and corporate offices on two separate occasions, we can relate to the heartbreak and devastation that follows a disaster of this magnitude. We’re using every resource at our disposal to aid in the recovery efforts.”

Food City and its vendor partners have reportedly donated more than $260,500 in product to flood relief efforts, including coolers and five truckloads of water, non-perishable foods, Gatorade, cleaning supplies, Cardinal paper products, and ice.

If you want to make any monetary donations to support relief efforts for those impacted by the Buchanan County flooding, you are encouraged to do so on United Way of Southwest Virginia’s website.