She has rallied her team of employees, customers, friends and family to provide relief assistance to the local families affected by the destructive storms of April 27.
Don Ledford Automotive Center will match 100 percent of all cash donations to The Salvation Army, according to Melton.
“The Saturday after the storm we became a drop-off for donations,” said Melton.
“We received $2,213 and were so happy to write a check to the Salvation Army for $4,426. We knew they would use it for immediate needs.”
In a short amount of time three truckloads of household supplies and two school buses were filled with school supplies and distributed among families who lost so much.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said it was exciting to see how quickly the bountiful donations from thoughtful people came pouring in, and just as exciting to see Gary Austin, supervisor of transportation, drive in with a second bus because the first one was full.
“Thanks to Debbie for taking Steve Hartline’s idea of filling school buses with school supplies and running with it. It was very generous of her to allow her business to be used for the collection drive,” Rowland said.
“I knew The Salvation Army was established in Cleveland but it wasn’t until the storm that I learned just how much they do,” Melton said.
“I have seen them working tirelessly from the onset and they still are working incredibly hard. Ruthie Forgey (The Salvation Army corps administrator) has returned my phone calls and been very good to work with. She really has a compassionate heart for people.”
“Everyone has God-given gifts and we can all do something to positively contribute to the needs of our community,” Melton said.
Forgey said the considerable and valuable support given to the Salvation Army from Don Ledford Automotive Center has enabled The Salvation Army to carry out its mission of “doing the most good” to provide assistance to families in need.
Monetary donations for the relief efforts can be dropped off or mailed to 437 Inman St., Cleveland, TN or dropped off at Don Ledford Automotive Center, 4595 N. Lee Hwy.