NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Dozens of families displaced by the Christmas day bombing received food and other necessities on Friday from the Community Resource Center drive thru donation.
“My mental health at this whole thing has not been great. I cry at the drop of a hat,” Michelle Leighliter said.
Employees, who visited the drive thru donation drive, said they lost it all, but they still have hope.
“My fiancée and my fiancée’s son, they work at Ridizzios, and I work at The Melting Pot. So all three of us lost our jobs like that,” Leighliter said.
Both those were once restaurants in the same building on Second Avenue. Now both businesses are gone after an RV exploded outside an AT&T transmission building on Christmas day.
“With the sprinklers being running for 36 hours, the rain yesterday, and Metro Water is talking about how the sewer lines probably are gone,” Leighliter said.
To help victims of the bombing, the Community Resource Center offered hygiene kits as well as food boxes from the Second Harvest Food Bank during a “Nashville Strong” drive thru on Friday afternoon. Leighliter was one of the people waiting on Friday.
“We are ok right this second but we don’t know what the future holds, so flat out I’m going to take what I can get at this point so we know that we will be ok for at least a couple of weeks,” Leighliter said.
Leighliter said finding another job during the pandemic will be difficult. She’s appreciative of the community support.
“Nashville, you’re amazing and we will be back, and we’ll take care of you guys,” Leighliter said.
Leighliter said she plans to apply for unemployment and waiting in line they got to see other employees they hadn’t seen since the explosion.
If you’re looking to donate, the city recommends the following:
- United Way of Greater Nashville is partnering with Mayor John Cooper’s office to accept gifts to its Restore the Dream Fund which will provide long-term disaster recovery support to nonprofits for the survivors. People who wish to donate by clicking here or text RESTORE20 to 41444.
- The Salvation Army – Nashville Area Command believes “we are stronger together” and is assisting survivors with urgent needs of food, transportation, and healthcare through Kroger Gift Cards, UBER Rides and UBER Eats. Gifts can be made in support of this disaster response by clicking here.
- Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville provides a range of services that help clients through crises and toward self-sufficiency. Services include emergency financial assistance, counseling, job training, housing stability, hunger relief, and more. Gifts in support of their disaster relief efforts can be made by clicking here.
- Community Resource Center of Nashville will be actively engaged with long-term recovery efforts to provide basic essentials, clothing, household goods, and is collecting items to assist with debris removal, clean up and first responder needs. To donate, click here.
Anyone looking to volunteer, can reach out to Hands on Nashville at hon.org.
Additional Resources for Survivors include:
- Nashville Strong Assistance Fund: Catholic Charities will provide assistance to those who live or work in the explosion perimeter area in the historic downtown area, through a specially funded program that will begin Monday . An online application for assistance will be go live on Friday afternoon . The application can be accessed from the following: nashvillestrong2021.org. Those who are unable to access the online application can call 615-352-8591.
- hubNashville: For assistance from Metro Nashville Davidson County Government, affected individuals should visit hub.nashville.gov, use the hubNashville 311 app or call 311.
- Food Assistance: Individuals in need of emergency food assistance can text ‘FEEDS’ to 797979 or visit www.secondharvestmidtn.org/get-help to access Second Harvest’s Find Food tool to locate the nearest food distribution, including Emergency Food Box sites in Davidson County. For additional assistance, individuals can call 211.
- Cash Assistance: A limited supply of gift cards, provided by Salvation Army - Nashville Area Command, will be available for immediate cash assistance for those affected. Individuals can receive more information by texting the word ‘STRONG’ to 484848.
- Housing and Immediate Needs: The American Red Cross of Tennessee is providing assistance for those displaced from their home, apartment or townhouse. Those needing assistance should contact the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS to help with their immediate needs, which may include food, shelter, clothing, health and mental health services, community referrals and recovery assistance.
- Assistance for Spanish Speakers: Spanish speakers impacted can call Conexión Americas at 615-270-9252 for assistance beginning on Monday.
- Resource and Referral Line: Individuals in need of assistance can contact United Way of Greater Nashville’s 24-hour resource and referral line for help by dialing 211 or visiting 211.org.