Claiborne High School Key Club volunteers with cleanup after tornado

They're still on summer vacation, but when disaster hits so close to home, the Claiborne High School Key Club is ready to get to work.
They're still on summer vacation, but when disaster hits so close to home, the Claiborne High School Key Club is ready to get to work.

SPEEDWELL (WATE) – The true volunteer spirit of Tennessee is being felt in the hard hit area of Claiborne County where an EF-3 tornado touched down Sunday.

Several homes were damaged in Speedwell.

Related coverage: Tornado, strong storms destroy homes in East Tennessee

Volunteers have been pouring into the area to lend a helping hand, and there’s still plenty of work to do.

The group worked Wednesday to clear dozens of fallen trees from around Danny Thaxton's home.
The group worked Wednesday to clear dozens of fallen trees from around Danny Thaxton’s home.

Groups have been coming in from all over this week to help with the cleanup, but they’ve also come from Claiborne County, all ages, helping people they’ve never met before.

They’re still on summer vacation, but when disaster hits so close to home, the Claiborne High School Key Club is ready to get to work.

“I felt like The Lord blessed me and my family not to be harmed by it, and I felt like the least I could do was help,” said student Lindsey Uptown.

The group worked Wednesday to clear dozens of fallen trees from around Danny Thaxton’s home.

"What they've done this morning is probably two days worth of work for me alone, at least," said Danny Thaxton.
“What they’ve done this morning is probably two days worth of work for me alone, at least,” said Danny Thaxton.

The club’s sponsor from last school year, Penny Long, says she knew these students would answer the call, even though some have already graduated.

“I love them. They’re good kids. They’ve got a kind heart, a serving heart. They’re always willing to come out and help,” said Long.

“It’s always a blessing to help somebody else out,” said student Katelyn Hatfield.

Thaxton is grateful for the free labor that came from right here at home.

“I asked them, ‘Wouldn’t you rather be swimming or doing something else?’ But they said, ‘No, they’d rather come out and help,’ so thank goodness for that.”

Even those in Claiborne County who can’t physically help with the heavy lifting have been helping out by driving around to see what their neighbors need, and offering up things like food and toiletries.

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