Tropical Storm Ophelia uprooted a massive maple tree in Ricky Kelsaw’s backyard when it blew through in late September, sending sections across his property and into the yards of three of his neighbors.
“It was definitely a big mess,” he said.
Kelsaw, 70, said he struggles to remain in his home because he’s on a fixed income and receives treatment for a heart condition. He wasn’t sure how he was going to manage the cleanup, so he contacted the Henrico County Department of Community Revitalization. However, the project was too big for the department’s Assistance Program, which helps qualifying residents who are low-income, older or disabled with minor yard maintenance.
Undeterred, Revitalization Specialist Will Teeples began to contact local tree-service companies. C.S. Flournoy Inc. answered the plea and last week sent out a crew to cut and remove the debris.
“It just kind of touched me when he called,” said Lisa Rigsby, the company’s office manager. She said she wishes more “people would take the time to help people out in their time of need.”
She said the wood from Kelsaw’s tree was donated to Project W.A.R.M., a volunteer program of the Rotary Club of Richmond and others that supports individuals and families who rely on firewood to heat their homes. “This will help all three of us out,” she said, referring to Kelsaw, C.S. Flournoy and those receiving the firewood.
Kelsaw said he’s grateful for C.S. Flournoy’s responsiveness and professionalism, Teeples’ assistance and his neighbors’ patience. “I was at my wit’s end,” he said.