Helping Harvey victims prepare for the holidays

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) – After taking a truck full of water and other supplies to Texas and Florida, one Harlan County woman is still finding ways of helping those affected by the hurricanes.

Leslie Bledsoe returned to Harlan Tuesday morning after dropping off the supplies to a homeless shelter in the Tampa area. She said the people at the shelter were thankful for the donations.

“There was one lady that was in complete disbelief”, said Bledsoe. “She said that her heart felt like it could burst. She just couldn’t believe that somebody would do that.”

Bledsoe said she is thankful for the generosity of the community in Harlan for donating the supplies.

“It made me feel blessed and more in love with our community”, said Bledsoe. “One person can put out a post on Facebook and ask for something and so many people would be willing to give and come together like that.”

The day she returned from Florida, she decided to start a T-shirt fundraising campaign using the hashtag ‘With Love from Harlan’. The owner of a local T-shirt company was happy to offer Bledsoe and discounted rate.

“We do it”, said VIP TEES owner Jason Caps. “That’s just what we do. You know people talk about mountain people helping mountain people, Mountain people are going to help anybody. Just give us the opportunity and we’ll help.”

Bledsoe plans on using the proceeds to bring Christmas to homeless shelters in Texas affected by the storm. She said she wants to make sure children with still receive presents and families will still have a Christmas dinner.

“Christmas may be the last thing on their mind”, said Bledsoe. “But I still want them to feel that joy of Christmas. And then it could be the biggest thing on their mind wondering how they’re going to give their kids a Christmas. And just that kind of stress can really bring a person down and we just want to help them out.”

Bledsoe said the shirts and hats will be available Monday and will cost $15 each. You can reach her on Facebook or contact VIP TEES in Harlan if you would like to purchase a shirt or hat.

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