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EKU's Global Supply Chain Management Supports Cleanup Efforts in Eastern Kentucky

Three Eastern Kentucky University College of Business students recently traveled to Breathitt County with a professor to support cleanup efforts arising from this summer’s historic flooding throughout the southeastern portion of Kentucky. Clay Coleman, Shiloh DeVore and Adam Froman joined Dr. James Kirby Easterling and his wife, Teresa, as they cleaned out a home that was nearly destroyed by flooding that reached upwards of five feet of water into the home.

Dr. Easterling, Director and Assistant Professor of Global Supply Chain Management, has supported eastern Kentucky flood relief in multiple ways since the morning of the flood, including delivery of bottled water, meal preparation, coordinating collection and distribution of cleaning supplies, and actual physical cleanup. “Eastern Kentuckians are my people, and a large percentage of EKU’s students are from the counties that were impacted by flooding. Each of the three young men who accompanied us spoke of classmates who have been personally impacted and wanted to personally get involved."

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Clay Coleman, Teresa Easterling, Dr. James Kirby Easterling, Peggy Handshoe, Adam Froman, Shiloh Devore (left to right)

Clay Coleman, a senior Global Supply Chain Management major from Kenton County, spoke about classmates and friends across the EKU campus whose families were impacted by flooding. “One of my close friends is from Letcher County and her family’s home was destroyed by the flood. I wanted to volunteer to show people that they haven’t been forgotten and that even people they don’t know feels the pain of their loss. We drove to Breathitt County, worked several hours, and then drove home to resume our perfectly normal lives. But the people whose homes were flooded must deal with physical, emotional, and financial struggles for months. It’s heartbreaking to say the least. I want to get more involved in community service going forward.”

Shiloh DeVore, a senior Global Supply Chain Management from Madison County, shared similar sentiments. “None of us knew exactly what to expect, only that we were going to help someone in great need. Once we arrived in Breathitt County, we could immediately see how severely the community was impacted by the flooding. When volunteering in natural disasters, you expect physically demanding work, but cannot fully prepare for how difficult it can be to keep composure. Moving forward from this experience, it is clear to me the empowerment a community holds when we contribute our time to helping others in need.”

Adam Froman, a senior Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) major from Carroll County, found the experience highly rewarding yet very somber. “Much of what the fine people of Jackson, Kentucky once owned is now gone. We discarded countless tangible memories, such as family photos, home videos, children’s toys, furniture, high school diplomas, and everything else you typically find in someone’s home. Seeing the devastation opened my eyes tremendously, and many folks have not even begun to start to recover. Dr. Easterling said this is about ’people helping people’, and I think that is what it’s all about.”

DeVore, Froman, Handshoe, Coleman

Shiloh DeVore, Adam Froman, Peggy Handshoe (homeowner), Clay Coleman (left to right)

Dr. Easterling, a native of eastern Kentucky (Pike Co.), thanked the students for spending the day in service to others, but was pleasantly surprised when the students kept thanking him for extending the invitation. “During our nearly two-hour commute from Richmond to Breathitt County I tried to prepare my students for what they would see. But nothing really prepares someone for walking into a home where someone has lost literally everything they own. Compassion for others is a quality to be highly admired, and I couldn’t be prouder of these young men. They asked me multiple times, ‘when can we go back again?’. It’s an honor to have students with a passion for helping others. These young men are amongst the finest I’ve ever taught. They all excel academically, they’ve all had internships, and they’ll soon graduate to become not only great business leaders, but even more so, great community leaders with a willingness to help others in need.”

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EKU College of Business students removing an appliance from a home heavily damaged by historic flooding

Eastern Kentucky University College of Business students provide service to the extended region in many ways, such as providing free tax preparation to people with low incomes, supporting canned food drives for families in need, picking up trash throughout Madison County, collecting toys for children during the holidays, and many other endeavors.  Service is a major component of the College of Business’ strategic plan in emphasizing the good we can do for others through educational opportuniti

Published on August 29, 2022

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