It was the can openers that prompted Steve Justis to turn humanitarian.
The Annapolis businessman read a news report about the victims of Hurricane Andrew, the displaced families who have received canned goods but have no way to get the cans open.
Prompted by the irony of the situation, Mr. Justis joined other county residents in gathering much-needed goods for the hurricane victims. He plans to drive a truck to South Florida next weekend to distribute the items personally.
Mr. Justis said a truck will be set up near the Crownsville post office, starting beginning tomorrow, to receive donated goods. The volunteers are requesting soap, tissue, disposable diapers, sleeping bags and cots, toys, towels, sheets and box cookies. But the most needed items are manual can openers.
A 41-year-old car-phone salesman, Mr. Justis said he knows it's difficult for families to give to charity these days. "We are in a depression, no question, but there's something somebody can give if they want to.
"Usually the people who don't have anything are the ones who give. It amazes me."
Local high schools, including Annapolis High and The Severn School, have donated canned goods.
Mr. Justis is also hoping individual families will pitch in by donating their used items such as toys or sleeping bags.
A truck to receive the donations will be located at Fiddlers Green Deli, 1355 Generals Highway, tomorrow and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On Friday, Mr. Justis and several other volunteers plan to drive the truck to Homestead Air Force Base, south of Miami, where, under the supervision of the Red Cross, they will distribute the goods.
"We don't just want to take it down there and leave it," he said.
"My concern is making sure the items get to the right people; I couldn't stand for one person to get 50 toys or something like that."