Small volunteer with a big job helps storm victims - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

New Madrid County, MO

Small volunteer with a big job helps storm victims

By: CJ Cassidy

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - State emergency management authorities say New Madrid County suffered quite a big hit from the ice storm.

Several communities there are still in the dark.

But sometimes, all it takes is a helping hand to brighten up someone's day.

The gloves might be too big for Lila Vancil's hands, but don't tell her she's too small to help out.

"My job is to fill the bags with breakfast meals and lunch meals," she explained, working without missing a beat.

The nine year old has spent the last few days volunteering alongside her parents at Tallapoosa City Hall, and she does it with a smile.

"Yesterday I was up here for 12 hours, from nine o'clock to nine o'clock in the evening," she said.

Lila turns 10 on Thursday, but unlike most kids her age, her birthday's the last thing on her mind.

"It comes every year. It's just another birthday!" she said.

Like everyone else in Tallapoosa, Lila's family does not have any power.  City leaders expect to be in the dark for another three weeks.

That's why Lila's dad says his daughter's cheer goes a long way in brightening up his day.

"If it wasn't for my kids, I don't know what I would do," Shannon Vance said, holding back tears.

Folks who can't move far from home say they are more than thankful for volunteers young and old alike.

"My mom and wife are on medications, and they bring us medicine and meals," said Michael Miller of Tallapoosa.

That's a good enough reason for Lila to want to put in more long hours at city hall.

"Even if I get bored, I know it's for a good cause because there's people out there that need all this food," she said. 

That's the kind of attitude people trying to stay out of the cold say warms their bodies and their souls.

Lila doesn't know what she wants to do when she grows up, but she does plan on volunteering any chance she gets.

She also admits she wouldn't mind getting a cell phone for her birthday.

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