Shorewood | The newest piece of equipment in Three Rivers Association’s disaster relief trailer came from an unlikely source: 10-year-old Lily Eddington.
The fifth grader wanted to help the association purchase a new, bigger chainsaw for the team to use after disasters like the November tornadoes that affected many communities across the state. She wrote a story that has garnered $2,000 in donations, enough to purchase the new chainsaw, another smaller saw, and other needed safety equipment.
Lily has the inside track to knowing about such a specific need – her grandfather is Dan Eddington, Three Rivers’ director of missions. “She knew through my father that they needed help raising money for that,” said Lily’s dad, Matt. “And she came up with the idea of writing a story, and he took the idea and kind of ran with it. And it worked out really well.”
Her grandfather helped Lily publish the story in booklet form, with her own illustrations. The story centers on a family trapped in their home after a tornado. Sisters Megan and Brianna take shelter in the basement with their parents (plus their cat and hamster), but a large tree keeps them trapped inside after the storm passes.
“Then they heard a truck pull up,” Lily wrote. “On the side of the trailer they saw the words, ‘Three Rivers Baptist Association Disaster Relief.’
“Suddenly they heard, ‘Come on guys, we need to get this tree off the house.’”
Ken Cummins could easily be the model for Lily’s fictional rescuer. As a leader of Three Rivers’ DR team, Cummins goes wherever the chainsaw team is needed. He and Lily picked out the new Stihl chainsaw in December. The equipment will help the team do chainsaw jobs they couldn’t have completed before, he said.
“We really needed a larger saw on board,” Cummins said. In Washington, Ill., in November, “We came across quite a few [trees] down there that we weren’t able to do as easily as we should have because we didn’t have the right saw.”
Lily is already working on her next story to help Disaster Relief, this time to help the association’s mudout team. Her grandfather reported she’s also working on a story to raise funds for a mission trip to Slovakia, where she will help teach conversational English to kids her age.
Read Lily’s story at www.3riversbaptist.org.