Still recovering from a December foot surgery to correct a birth defect, the 17-year-old decided that there was one thing she could do: organize a clothing drive.
“After seeing all the destruction, I knew that a lot of people had lost everything,” Katie said. “So I posted on Facebook that if anyone had any clothes they’d like to donate to the families affected by the tornado, I’d be happy to pick them up.”
Pretty soon, her Honda Civic was filled with donations from people all over Gordon County. She’d unload her car at home and head back out to get the next donation. She then called in reinforcements. Her parents, Tim and Karen Shaw, readily agreed to support her project and found themselves taking orders on where to pick up the next donations.
“That first night, we started organizing the clothing by sizes and gender in our living room,” Katie explained. “I don’t know what we would have done if our neighbors Misty Fowler and Destiny Patterson hadn’t helped us!”
The next day, a clothing distribution site was located and Katie started spreading the word about the free clothing distribution.
“I was so happy when Pastor Steve Skates said we were welcomed to use his church, Sonoraville Baptist Church, as a clothing distribution site,” Katie said. “It’s the perfect location to help those affected by the tornados.”
Family and friends rallied behind Katie to help with the distribution as the families began to arrive at the church at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, Feb. 2. By Tuesday evening, approximately 150 families had been assisted with clothing and other items, including blankets and toiletries. Clothing distribution was expected to continue through the week.
“I want to thank all the people who so generously donated the items and worked so hard to help distribute them,” Katie said. “God has truly blessed us and we give Him all the honor and glory.”