The Amish are well-known for their humble ways and traditional lifestyle. Many times Americans on the outside assume (right or not) that they are scorned by the Amish, due to their modern ways, and 21st century mindset. The Amish probably share similar feelings. Yet in a recent show of true community support the people, both Amish and otherwise, of Ottumwa, Iowa came out in droves to help a local business that was destroyed by a storm.
Yoder’s Kountry Korner is an Amish store that sells quilts, baked goods, wooden sheds, and furniture. While a lot of the furniture made it out intact, the tornado did take most of the actual building itself away with it. What it did leave was left thrown and scattered across the ground in pieces, according to the Ottumwa Courier Online, a local news source.
Before the owners of the shop even had time to assess their damages and begin repair efforts, members of the community, both Amish and “English,” arrived in droves to help in the restoration. One of the co-owners, who is known simply as D.B., told the newspaper that he could hardly believe the number of people who showed up.
“The people who pulled together, it was overwhelming,” he said. “Even the night the tornado hit, that night, there were trucks and trailers, so many I didn’t know who they all were.”
It’s during times of crisis when people will show you who they truly are. The fact that so many showed up to help out a little Amish shop they had nothing invested in speaks volumes for the people of the local community.
Speaking with KTVO, a local ABC affiliate, the Chief of the nearby Bloomfield Fire Department, Jeff McClure, summarized the feelings of many:
“They’re a very close knit community, they help one another in a time of tragedy, so something like this, this is where they shine. They come together, and it doesn’t matter if they’re Amish or the other citizens of the community they always show up to help and lend a helping hand.”
“A few years ago, our main suppliers’ warehouse caught fire and they lost the entire warehouse and office (no one was hurt),” says Mike McCort, Owner, Amish Mike. “Losing all of your materials and two thirds of your building was more than what most people could handle. I remember talking with the owner, my friend Sam, about two days later and asking if they needed anything, he asked for our prayers and to keep them in mind. He had told me the next day families, both Amish and English were there helping. Everyone worked from sun up till sun down, only stopping 2-3 times a day. Within 2 days everything was gone and the new frame for the new building was being put up, it was amazing.”