Oak Hill Manor residents seeing help from community

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 10:23 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 11:00 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Ramona Spencer and her neighbors at Oak Hill Manor apartments sit outside most nights since Monday’s storm. No power for them also means no elevators to leave their apartments, no way to charge wheelchairs, and no ice or fridge to keep medicine cold.

On Thursday, KCRG-TV9 talked to people who live there about the situation and shared their stories on the KCRG Facebook page and morning newscast.

Oak Hill Manor residents plea for help

PLEA FOR HELP: About 90 minutes ago, a woman called NewsLine9 asking for help. She's a resident at Oak Hill Manor in Southeast Cedar Rapids. Our crew went to the scene and found a group of elderly, disabled residents without power, desperate for help and frustrated by the lack of information.

Posted by KCRG-TV9 on Thursday, August 13, 2020

By Friday afternoon, help and hope had arrived. Spencer says they had complete strangers donating food and water all day. The neighbors say they’re thankful they have food, flashlights, and each other, but without power, many said they’re still struggling to keep their refrigerated medicine cold.

Those resources are coming from individuals in Cedar Rapids who are taking it upon themselves to bring people relief. Jon Biegen is one of several people who dropped food off on Friday. He normally runs an animal shelter called Adopt a Pal, but since the storm, he and his friends are raising money to buy food for seniors in Cedar Rapids who are unable to get it for themselves. “We saw the great need and we saw some stories online and that there were some people who did not have electricity. So, we decided to come out and throw up a Facebook donation and see what we can collect,” says Biegen.

An organization out of Virginia called Mercy Chefs drove into town Friday. They set up a block away from Oak Hill Manor apartments, and are serving enough food for 4,000 people every day. The hours for that station are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. daily. Aside from their drive-thru station off of 10th St SE, organizers say they will be going door to door delivering food to people in need. Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up here.

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