Serving up BBQ and Sewing Joy

By Emily Smaldino

COVID-19 has taken a toll on the small town of Portville, NY, leaving some residents out of work. Portville, nestled along the Alleghany River and the Pennsylvania boarder, has a population of less than 1,000 residents. National Grid Chief Service Representative, Kip Morrow, resides in Portville and felt the urge to support his community.  Most people would look at Portville as just a dot on the map, but to Kip and his family, it’s the best community in the world.  Kip volunteers as Commander of the Sons of the American Legion at Post 814 in Portville. He rallied his family to help him prepare a lunch service for their community. The Morrows limited preparation to just their family, eliminating any threat of contamination. The American Legion in Portville was the ideal location to smoke 45 pounds of pork, and cook the complimentary side of salt potatoes. The Morrow family served 75 free lunches, accompanied by bottled water, to local residents. The meal was well received by the small town that has been on lockdown since mid-March. They plan to host another free lunch for all community residents in the coming weeks!

The Morrows’ good deeds didn’t stop with lunch. Additionally, Kip’s daughter has continued to pay it forward and provide joy to their small town. Torianne, who is 17, dug her old sewing machine out of storage. The last time she had used it, she was 10! Torianne quickly retaught herself how to sew, and before she knew it, she was producing and donating dozens of masks. The demand has been so high, she can barely keep up! All masks Torianne has produced have been donated to local frontline workers and elderly residents.