BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – It’s been four days since the Easter Sunday tornadoes devastated many counties in our area.
Spring is normally the season for flea markets, but due to the COVID 19 closures, the Cleveland flea market is unable to open- but that’s not stopping them from reaching out to the community.
Owners of the flea market are now utilizing their facility as a tornado relief center.
“We can’t open right now because of the social distancing and non essential businesses. We felt like this was a way we could at least use the business for something good right now,” says Rebecca Myers & Justin Myers, Owners of the Cleveland flea market.
The market located at 2699 Waterlevel highway is accepting donations of any type and allowing those affected by the tornadoes to pick up anything they need- all for free.
Since opening Wednesday, the market has had several hundred donations from the community.
Volunteers say they have received large amounts of clothes and are in desperate need of the essential items.
“We need lanterns, battery operated lanterns, batteries, we need flashlights, kerosene heaters. We need stuff like that. Blankets. Some people are still at their houses and it’s freezing at night and they have no power,” says Candace Maddux, Volunteer with the flea market.
The flea market is located next to the disaster area allowing for a quicker shopping time for those in need.
“ People are coming here from the tornado and don’t have much time to be here because they have to get back to their house. They have stuff they have to fix.To be here and have us shop with them we can get them in and get them out as fast as possible, comfortable, and make them feel like there’s hope,” says Morgan Akins, Volunteer.
Owners of the market say going through a pandemic and a tornado can’t stop this community from coming together.
“It’s just twice the opportunity to show the spirit of America and the Christian faith that’s here in the bible belt. We are willing to work together and nothing can divide us,”says Myers.
“We love our community and we are ready to get Cleveland back on its feet,” says Maddux.
The market is accepting donations from 10am to 2pm and Pickup is available from 10 until 5 in the afternoon.
You can stay up to date with the Cleveland Flea Market here.