A Busy, Snowy 2009 Holiday for HeaterMeals

How did you spend your Christmas Holiday last month? Like most people, probably relaxing with loved ones. For someHeaterMeals employees, the holiday was a bit busier, but it showed our dedication to those in need. Because as the snow fell through the week leading up to and through Christmas, we worked long hours through the holiday sending meals to those hardest hit by the storm.

Snow began to fall on Saturday December 19. That one storm dumped between 20 and 24 inches in the Virginia-Kentucky-West Virgina region. The snow had stranded many, and caused power outages that left residents without heat, and some without the ability to cook food. HeaterMeals Director of Marketing Dave Blandford took the first call from Virginia State officials at 3:30 am on Sunday December 20. They wanted to know how quick we could ship to their state. Dave received the go ahead in the afternoon, and he, along with employees Stan Smith and Megan Walsh, loaded two trucks. They arrived in southwest Virginia seven hours later that evening.

On Monday the 21st, another truckload delivered HeaterMeals to the state of West Virgina. Between the 21st and the 23rd, the region received more snow.

Emergency responders began delivering the HeaterMeals to residents throughout the week after that. One of the homes that received a case of HeaterMeals was that of Terry Childers and Jessi Elkins. On Christmas Day, Jessi took the time to write us about their experience

“Just a week before Christmas tens of thousands of people lost power and basic necessities when it was near impossible to travel on the icy roads. We were taken by surprise by the storm and I’m ashamed to say, my fiance and I were not very prepared. Also a reason for my concern was that I had just arrived home from an ER visit, and am 5 months pregnant with a son. Thanks to the local emergency services and a four-wheel drive, we received a box of HeaterMeals and a case of water. To be honest, we weren’t expecting them to be very good, and were more than pleasantly surprised to find out that not only were they not bad, but that they were actually pretty tasty. At the time we had very little else to make and most of it required cooking. Thanks to the HeaterMeals we got last week, we made it through the storm much easier and more comfortably than we would have otherwise. Thanks for making an excellent product. Keep up the good work.”

Late in the afternoon on the 23rd, most employees at HeaterMeals began to head home for an extended holiday. Dave Blandford decided to stay late, as he often does, and take advantage of the quiet in the office to get some additional work done. Thank goodness he did, because that’s when the phone began to ring. Because of the additional snow, officials from Virginia called needing more meals. That’s when Dave went to work.

That evening, two days before Christmas, and alone, Dave was able to find a shipper to get the meals to the region. With no one in the warehouse, Dave jumped on the forklift and loaded two trucks himself. They left for the region around 7:30 pm, and arrived in southwest Virginia before 2 am on December 24.

On Christmas Day, while at home with his family, Dave received a call from officials in West Virginia saying they needed more meals shipped. At 6:00 am on December 26, HeaterMeals warehouse and shipping employees Steve Stortz and Peggy Morris arrived and began loading a truck bound for the state of West Virginia. The truck arrived later that afternoon.

Even though these folks aren’t looking for it, HeaterMeals just wanted to say a special thanks to Dave, Stan, Megan, Steve and Peggy for their extra effort.

While we at HeaterMeals were a bit busier than usual over the holidays, our extra hours don’t compare to the hardship experienced by thousands across the country who were impacted by the snow storms. We’re only too glad to help, and hope that a box of HeaterMeals helped make someone’s Christmas season a bit more comfortable and enjoyable.

Posted On
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