West Virginia Hope Stories

Stories of strength and resilience from the heart of Appalachia.

WV Hope Stories

If there is one thing West Virginians have in common, it is their resilience and passionate support of their neighbors. These project highlight the spirit of hope that emerged from within the public schools system in the wake of the greatest natural disaster in the state’s recent history.


Teachers that Change Lives

Herbert Hoover High School – The flood led to the closing of this school. Now high school students take classes half-a-day in the afternoon at the middle school.  Two teachers are trying to provide opportunities for students with coding and engineering.  These teachers personally purchased supplies for the classes before the flood, but all the supplies were lost.
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Gardening for Good

Rainelle, W.Va.– The Agriculture Learning Center is a high tunnel where elementary students, teachers, local veterans and Master Gardeners work together to grow produce for the community, which is located in a food desert. In the past year, the donation of produce to senior citizens has been especially helpful since many lost their home and transportation in the flood. Also, students are learning to see rain positively again as it waters their plants, and are inspired by growing something at a time when sadness surrounds their community.
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Tiny Homes For Those In Need

Clay County, W.Va. – Students in all grades of the high school learn business acumen, website development and vocational skills as they build a tiny home that, when completed, will be donated to a family that lost their home in the flood. Over 200 houses were lost due to the flooding in the summer of 2016. In response, what started as a project to teach students vocational skills, now will also be a way to help the community rebuild.
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Three Different Projects, Very Similar Goals

These projects touch the lives of hundreds of students, their parents and impact the community.

  • Providing students with skills beyond the basic curriculum in a hands-on environment
  • Instilling in youth how important it is to give back to their community
  • Developing a sense of community and hope following the flood

The Floods That Hit

In June 2016, 8 to 10 inches of rain fell over a period of 12 hours in portions of W.Va. The flood resulted in 23 deaths and the destruction of more than 1,200 homes, according to CNN. This disaster has been called the deadliest flash flood event in the United States since the 2010 Tn. floods.

CNN also reported the destruction of 500 homes in Roane County, 400 homes and 70 businesses in Kanawaha County, and 111 homes and 14 businesses in Greenbrier County. The damages left by these floods had a direct impact on West Virginians everywhere, and many citizens of less affected areas stepped up to help out. West Virginia is strong, and without the help of multiple organizations and individuals, West Virginia may have had a more difficult time bouncing back. WV Hope Stories highlights what is being done to help currently, while also allowing an opportunity for others to continue to get involved.

360 Flood Video By David Smith

Photo Gallery

Get In Touch!

Find out how you can lend a hand!

Interested in taking your involvement with these projects a step forward and want to help your West Virginia community in any way you can? Contact the appropriate project to find how you can help.

Address: 5856 Elk River Rd. South

Clendenin, WV 25045

Phone: (304) 965-3394

Address: 701 Kanawha Ave

Rainelle, WV 25962

Email: robert.morris@k12.wv.us

Phone: (304) 587-4226