(WKBN) — Two Columbiana County nonprofit organizations have teamed up to help families who have been impacted by the East Palestine train derailment.
Many families left their homes in a hurry, wearing only the clothes on their backs, so The Way Station and Brightside Project have teamed up to help these families with some basic needs.
“Things like this happen, but like not in a small town like ours so it’s kinda shocking,” says Brady Eichler, evacuee.
Eichler and his family stopped by The Way Station in Columbiana on Monday to pick up some clothing. They left their home on Alice Street in East Palestine Friday night after the train derailed, and they haven’t been able to return.
“It’s just been chaotic — and just having to leave and not being able to go back or having the things you need — the not-knowing when you can go back, too, is tough,” Eichler says.
“We have a half a dozen families that have come to us just this morning for food and clothing, many people left with what was on their back thinking they were going to be gone for one night,” says Chaney Nezbeth with The Way Station.
The Way Station and the Brightside Project have teamed up to help families like Eichlers with things like hygiene products, clothing and food. It’s a need that hits close to home for executive director Nezbeth, whose family lives in East Palestine.
“We want to be able to help people in that community, but we know they’re not there right now,” says Nezbeth.
“It’s pretty stressful you know with everyone we know down there too you know it’s like you know how are they doing so everyone’s worried but we’re safe,” Nezbeth says.
The nonprofits are accepting donations to help families impacted, specifically child-friendly food and microwave meals that can easily be prepared in hotels.