WHITELAND, Ind. — The second week of clean-up efforts is underway in Whiteland, Indiana as the state continues to help hundreds of Hoosiers impacted by last weekend’s deadly tornadoes.

Donations are continuing to pour in, but there is still a big need for volunteers, said Becky Allen. As the president of the Johnson County Community Organizations in Active Disaster, or JCCOAD, Allen is one of many Johnson County residents helping to organize volunteer efforts. 

“We have had over 500 volunteers clean up in Whiteland and Johnson County,” Allen said. “It’s been amazing how people step up in this community, but the job is not done yet. We still have more to clean up.”

The biggest need right now is for more volunteers to help with debris management, Allen said. This means sorting all of the debris into separate piles, including a tree branch and limbs pile, a trash pile, a metal pile and a keepsake pile for the homeowners.

These piles, Allen said, need to be sorted carefully as they will be taken to different locations to either save or dispose of throughout the county.

“We all have our day-to-day jobs that we are trying to take care of as well as this is going on, so people coming in and donating their time, helping us out, it just gives us more resources and a lot more people that can help us get this done,” Eric Funkhouser, the Whiteland Fire Chief, said.

The only hurdle pausing debris clean-up efforts is if the homeowners are still waiting on the insurance companies to evaluate their homes. Otherwise, officials said the clean-up efforts are in full swing.

As of Monday morning, the one-stop shop in Whiteland only had one volunteer show up to help. But in the last week, 50 or more volunteers would help on a given day. 

They are encouraging others to step up this week, as there is still a lot more that needs to be done!

“I still think it’s a huge need,” Allen said. “People have put all of the debris in one pile, and well, we have to sort it.”

Even though there is still a lot of work to go, town leaders said it is incredible to see the progress in just the last week.

“It’s been pretty amazing,” Funkhouser said. “The response from the volunteers has been unbelievable. All last week when we had all the damage and everything else that was going on, we had people coming in every single day, calling, emailing, and just wanting to be a part of helping out.”

And combining that with love and support from families across the state has made the Whiteland community stronger. 

“I can’t put words into how much we appreciate everyone’s help,” Carmen Young, the Community Development Director for the town of Whiteland, said. “It just shows even though we are a small town, we have big strong arms with others around us that have really wrapped themselves around us to help us progress and be able to move forward from this.”

If you want to step up and make a difference, Allen said she has one final message of encouragement.

“You will have the best day ever,” she said. “Come in, volunteer, and you will see what it feels like to give to others.”

Those looking to volunteer canvisit the Clark Pleasant Administration building on Center Street in Whiteland. Volunteers can check in to help between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. now until Friday and from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday. This will be the last week for the one-stop-shop location in Whiteland. 

For more information, you can call this number (317)-671-6521 or email whitelandtornadorelief@gmail.com.