If an emergency or natural disaster were to strike at home in Ritchie County, where can one turn to for assistance? How can a community member help out those in need during a special emergency?

The Ritchie County Emergency Relief Fund, created by an anonymous donor, was created in 2003 to support needs related to personal or community emergencies for the residents of communities in Ritchie County, WV.

Ritchie County residents have always been very charitable helping their neighbors, especially during community emergencies. In the floods of 2000, for example, citizens pulled together and volunteered time and donated money, supplies, and materials to families in need.

Upon learning this new fund's creation, John "Shorty" Bumgardner, Director of the Ritchie County Office of Emergency Services and a former Ritchie County Commissioner stated, "...it's amazing that someone would think of those in need and be willing to set up funds in advance to help in a disaster beforehand. In the past, people have always come out to support in different ways, but a fund, such as this, has never been established to help out with these efforts."

The Ritchie County Emergency Relief Fund is a permanent endowment, meaning that it will last forever. When a gift is made to this fund, the Foundation gives our a percentage of the fund's earnings as needed.

Thanks to the charitable and caring interest of this anonymous donor, the fund has been started, but additional gifts to this fund are needed in order to grow the fund's capacity to help Ritchie County residents in times of need.

Dr. Wade Prather was a lifetime resident of Ritchie County. Dr. Prather started his dental practice in Harrisville.