GRADY COUNTY COMMISSION Chairwoman LaFaye Copeland was presented the “Good Neighbor Award” by the American Red Cross Tuesday. Shown making the presentation are Saundra Saxon, community volunteer leader for Southwest Georgia and Guillermo Cornavaca, a Red Cross volunteer with the Disaster Action Team.
The chairwoman of the Grady County Commission was honored with a special award presentation by the American Red Cross during Tuesday morning’s commission meeting at the courthouse.
Chairman LaFaye Copeland was presented the “Good Neighbor Award” by representatives of the American Red Cross, Guillermo Cornavaca and Saundra Saxon.
According to Cornavaca, the award was being presented to Copeland for her tireless efforts in the aftermath of the March 3 tornado that struck Cairo.
“We really appreciate all of her help. She knew what areas needed feeding, churches where we could set up relief stations and her hard work didn’t go unnoticed. She made it easy for us to identify the needs. It was truly amazing to see someone come out of the woodworks to show us what needed to be done,” Cornavaca said.
The Red Cross officials said that Chairwoman Copeland worked on little, if any, sleep in the days after the tornado hit here.
“I didn’t do this alone. There were a lot of others who pitched in to help,” Copeland said Tuesday morning. She highlighted the efforts of Commissioner Phillip Drew, who had only recently been elected to the board, for his assistance and contributions.
“I do what I do from my heart. I couldn’t sleep knowing those folks didn’t have lights and water or a place to live,” she added.
The District 4 county commissioner said when the tornado hit she went to Grady County Emergency Management Agency Director and County Fire Chief Richard Phillips to see what she could do to help. “Richard told me to run with it. It was an opportunity to serve the county and the city. It’s not all about me, it’s about taking care of our own,” she said.
Chairwoman Copeland said it took a community effort to recover from Hurricane Michael last October and then the tornado in March. “We are still recovering,” she said.
The county commission chair also shared that she is in the process of completing training so that she can become an official Red Cross volunteer.