FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Eric Wirks | [email protected]
Atlanta, Georgia – Mar. 8, 2023 – East Palestine, Ohio native and owner of Atlanta-based Wirks Moving & Storage, Eric Wirks, took action today, officially launching a webpage to streamline public support for the victims of the Norfolk Southern train derailment on February 3, 2023. In addition to creating the resource page, Wirks also donated $10,000 to The Way Station, the primary source for emergency assistance and disaster support in East Palestine and the surrounding communities.
“It’s been a month since the trained derailed in East Palestine,” reminded Wirks. “But the disaster is far from over. The communities impacted are facing the reality of a long, difficult road back to normal and need help. If everyone pitches in, even just a little, the impact would be enormous. Consolidating the information was the first step. Now, we need to let people know how to get to it.”
“But the disaster is far from over. The communities impacted are facing the reality of a long, difficult road back to normal and need help. If everyone pitches in, even just a little, the impact would be enormous. Consolidating the information was the first step. Now, we need to let people know how to get to it.”
The resource page provides critical information to both individuals wishing to extend their support and residents needing help. Locating actionable information on how to help those impacted has been a challenge, preventing many from donating and others from organizing aid altogether. The new resource webpage aims to solve that problem.
“We are a community in need, and we will be for a very long time,” stressed East Palestine Community Foundation President Marty Grim, whose local charity funds other town nonprofits, like churches and schools, and is one of two main local groups helping to organize support. With scattered information creating a roadblock to aid, Wirks diligently worked to validate the information by making phone calls, sifting through available information online, and connecting with his family, friends, and community contacts to compile the correct information. In these conversations, his connections were able to provide more context as to the actual needs on the ground and worked with his team to consolidate it into an easy-to-navigate source, all accessible and sharable online.
Hosted on the company’s website at WirksMoving.com/East-Palestine-Support, the initiative is a combined effort by Wirks and his team, highlighting information on the train derailment effects, how to get hazardous waste disaster relief, organizations providing aid, and what to donate to those in need of disaster assistance. The resource will be updated regularly as new information is released.
The Way Station’s executive director, Chaney Nezbeth, welcomed Wirks’ call and gladly shared what was needed most. In addition to monetary support, residential carbon filter air purification systems and whole house water purification systems, 400 of each, are currently the most urgent need, Wirks found. Item specifics and links to purchase are listed on the Wirks Moving & Storage East Palestine Support resource webpage.
Nezbeth hopes to generate generous donations and help fill residents’ most urgent need for the 800 purification systems with Wirks’ webpage.
“The Way Station was able to respond immediately to assist families with basic essentials during this crisis,” confirmed Nezbeth. “but what we now realize is the hundreds of thousands of people across the country who also want to help are struggling to find the people on the ground in the community that are actively assisting those in need. I am excited that through this webpage, anyone who wants to help our friends and family in East Palestine and the neighboring communities can trust that their gift will be used as they intended.”
“I am excited that through this webpage, anyone who wants to help our friends and family in East Palestine and the neighboring communities can trust that their gift will be used as they intended.”
To further aid impacted residents of East Palestine and the surrounding communities, Wirks also gathered contact information for well water testing, Health Assessment Clinic appointments, toxicologist questions, and mental health resources. Additionally, links to the Columbiana County Health District’s water well sampling results, Ohio Emergency Management Agency event information, EPA public drinking water test results, and updates from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine are included on the page.
Born and raised in East Palestine, Eric Wirks identified the barriers to support and came up with the idea for the page after searching and failing to find how best to help the disaster victims online. “When I found out about the disaster, I was distraught and had to help,” shared Wirks. “East Palestine is a very small town with several other small, similarly devasted communities surrounding it. I knew the folks there needed more help than I could give alone, and if I had trouble figuring out how to help, others were too.”
“The people of East Palestine, Columbiana County, and the surrounding areas are still in desperate need of aid… a month after the accident,”
“The people of East Palestine, Columbiana County, and the surrounding areas are still in desperate need of aid… a month after the accident,” Wirks continued. “Reducing barriers to support and consolidating information increases the chance that people will help, so we removed as many barriers and gathered as much information as we could. Getting this resource out to the public enables us all to make a real difference in the lives of the people in and around East Palestine, a truly one-of-a-kind community.”
About Wirks Moving & Storage – Founded in 2009, the Atlanta-based Wirks Moving & Storage is the brainchild of its owner and founder, Eric Wirks, and provides reliable solutions for the problems people face when moving. AMSA-Certified Professional Movers, Wirks Moving & Storage is dedicated to superior service, a stress-free experience, and high-quality standards of care. With more than 20,000 moves completed, more than 2,000 five-star reviews, and thousands of ecstatic customers and clients, Wirks Moving & Storage specializes in a full-service, white glove moving experience and services for residential, commercial, and corporate clients. For more information on Wirks Moving & Storage, please visit WirksMoving.com.
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