TORNADO RELIEF: ‘Picking Up For Hope’ cleanup planned

COOKEVILLE – Businesses and individuals are needed for a final weekend cleanup in the area affected by the March 3 tornado scheduled for July 11 and 12.  

While a lot of the larger debris has been hauled off, there is still a lot of debris that needs to be picked up, according to cleanup organizers. On July 11 and 12, volunteers will be “Picking Up For Hope.” These two days will be committed to picking up the debris that was not picked up by the larger equipment in the initial cleanup. 

Putnam Volunteers said in a statement, “The volunteer effort for Tornado Cleanup and Recovery in Cookeville and Putnam County has been tremendous!  Over 7,200 volunteers working in excess of 57,000 hours and volunteers from 19+ states were a part of this effort!  Every single thing that has been done has brought a ray of light and hope to the survivors of this tragic event.  Our community is being hailed as a model for the nation. Thank you to all those who have helped!”

Volunteer teams are needed from local businesses and organizations to help with this effort.  

“We are looking for teams of 10, with a captain for each team, to collect the small debris into garbage bags and leave on the side of the road for pickup,” said organizers. “If you have less than 10, that is fine – we have a place for you! Work will begin at 8 a.m. both days, and teams will be assigned until 2 p.m. Plans are to wrap up at 4 p.m. each day. We have the trash bags, pickers, rakes, gloves, masks, etc. You just supply the volunteer spirit – and sunscreen.”

Volunteers are asked to reply by email to on or before July 6 with the number of teams they will be sending each day along with the team captain’s name and email. There will be a team captain’s meeting Friday afternoon July 10 to go over the plans and assignments for the two-day cleanup effort.

“Please join us to “Pickup Up For Hope,” and to show the rest of the nation the resolve and commitment of our great community as we finish strong!” organizers said.

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