Buckingham County, VA

"The geographical heart of Virginia where the people are full of heart"

Craig, a 70-year-old resident, spends his time collecting food and distributing it to the needy. (Credit: Rachel Wilson)

Buckingham is a small county where news spreads quickly. My house burned to the ground at 1:30 in the morning in July 2015. The Red Cross put us in the local hotel and told us that we were going to be amazed at how the community would come together to help us. That was all at 6 a.m. By 10 in the morning, a woman I worked with showed up at the hotel with two huge boxes of clothes and a check for $200 from a stranger. Day after day, I would go into work to use my laptop our only means of communication at the time. Every day, there were more and more boxes and bags of clothing, household items, and donations. Four days after the fire, a house was offered to us rent-free for two months. One woman told me, “Sometimes it helps to live in nosy Buckingham.”

People always say hi whether they know you or not and will most likely start a conversation with you.

Reni, a local resident, is always there for anyone in need. She knows everyone in Buckingham. (Credit: Rachel Wilson)

Since then, I have witnessed many tragedies and in every single instance the community comes together to support people with donations, prepared food, or whatever is needed at the time. A month ago, cousins who were five and six, were fatally hit by a tractor-trailer when they were running across the road to get on the school bus. The outpouring of support was so large that the funeral had to be held at the local high school. Donations were collected to pay for the funeral expenses.

The Tragedy That United a Community