We would like to acknowledge Linda Smith as the recipient of the Americans Helping Americans® – Helper of the Month award for April! Congratulations, Linda!
We heard about Linda from our partner, Sherry Lanham of the Lee County Family Resource Center in Lee County, Kentucky. According to Sherry, “Linda, her husband Bob and their son Josh own the local newspaper–Three Forks Tradition but they are the backbone of our community, especially Linda.” Sherry told us that this month, she has worked so hard to organize events to keep the Lee County community in good spirits while the COVID-19 virus has many people “down and out.”
As a show of support for the high school’s seniors who may not have a graduation ceremony this year, Linda was instrumental in raising money to buy signs with all of their names and placed them in the center of town and around the high school.
She is also working with the school to provide a gift for seniors every Friday, ranging from a pizza lunch to gift cards. The seniors pull up in their car and are handed a special gift from the community. This past Saturday she helped organize an antique car parade that drove all over the community and around the nursing home to help lift the spirits of those who cannot leave their residence.
For over 25 years, she has been the chairperson of Lee County’s local “Woolly Worm Festival” that is held each October. Despite the fact that these are uncertain times, she is already working on the upcoming festival. Linda always gives the Lee County Family Resource Center free coverage when they do a school activity or one sponsored by Americans Helping Americans.
This year, Lee County will celebrate their 150th anniversary and she has worked hard to start this event since January. Sherry says, “She had plans for monthly activities but those are on hold at this time.”
In March, just prior to Kentucky’s shutdown, the resource center held a community event to celebrate some of their residents, churches and other community members who had lived in the town for a long time. Linda managed to get plaques, flowers, cakes and have the entire event organized and ready.
Linda truly embodies the spirit of a hometown hero. She and her husband both have numerous health problems but that doesn’t stop her from attending every community event, working hard and making sure those who need help in the community get what they need.
In addition to serving as Woolly Worm Chair, she serves on Lee County’s Friends helping Friends committee, Museum Committee, Natural Bridge State Park council, July 4th Committee, Trick or Treat on Main Committee, Tree of Love at Christmas, works with the local volunteer firefighters to raise money for their needs, and still finds time to help anyone who asks her for a minute.
Sherry concluded by saying, “She truly deserves to be recognized for all her efforts in our community.”
The Helper of the Month Award is designed to show the amazing, wonderful, hard-working, and dedicated people in the Appalachian communities we serve every day. Each month, we’ll be sharing these stories with you in the hopes that you’ll walk away as inspired as we are to do good things in your community!