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Neighbors helping Neighbors
The final product, a solid, covered wood rack.
Secondary Image
John Culp and Bill Gunn putting the roof on
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Neighbors helping Neighbors

Wood rack for Karen McKay, LTC USA (Ret)

When WNC MOAA and Smoky Mountain Satellite MOAA member, Karen McKay, slipped and fell in December 2019, the former EMT immediately realized she had a serious injury. Soon thereafter, it was confirmed she had broken her neck.

Fracturing vertebras C-1 and C-2 (where the heart and lungs receive their spinal nerve supply), she now found her independent life abruptly restricted in order for healing to take place. Doctor’s orders indicated she needed to adhere to the recovery plan for several months. Now in a neck brace, she was no longer able to cut and split her own firewood as she had done for the last 15 years, using it for the primary heat to her house. Worse yet, without a wood rack to get her firewood up off the ground and cover it to allow it to dry and season properly, immediate action was necessary to get her through the cold snaps.

First, John and Donna Culp brought several loads of dry, seasoned firewood to tide her over until a proper wood rack could be built. Next came the building of the wood rack, repurposing wooden pallets, concrete blocks, lumber and metal roofing, with only a few newly purchased items. Then with the help of neighbors Brian and his 13 yr. old son, Aden; John and Donna Culp and Bill Gunn (all WNC MOAA and Special Forces Association Chapter 17 members), and John Ward (BCVC – Buncombe County Veteran’s Council Treasurer), Karen’s proper wood rack became a reality. John Ward brought an additional load of firewood, and neighbor Brian also supplied firewood.

Thank you all who participated in this project! And thank you Karen for all the wonderful food you cooked to thank us.

Submitted by – Donna Culp