Carroll rallies to help flood victims

August 20, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

The first truckload of bottled water, canned foods, diapers and money collected under "Operation Bring Your Own Bottled Water" left Carroll County Wednesday on the first leg of a journey to the flooded Midwest.

Salvation Army workers at Bethesda Methodist Church in Gamber loaded 500 gallons of water and 200 pounds of food and diapers on a truck bound for Washington, D.C., where the items will be placed on a train for shipment to St. Louis, Mo., or Iowa.

Rachelle Hurwitz, a Uniontown resident and community activist, initiated the campaign to collect bottled water and other goods for flood victims a month ago. She has been collecting items three or four mornings a week outside the Giant store in Westminster.

"We've had a lot of response," Ms. Hurwitz said. "Carroll does get involved and Carroll does care. We still have money coming in. I've been in tears over some of the reasons people are helping. It's so moving."

Ms. Hurwitz, joined by various county churches and the Carroll County YMCA, worked under the auspices of the Salvation Army in Washington.

James Allen, the Salvation Army's disaster services coordinator, pledged to transport whatever the group collected to the Midwest. The group also raised about $500.

"We've had a big response" in the area around Washington, Mr. Allen said. "We've worked with some groups in outlying areas, but I haven't come across anyone as enthusiastic as Rachelle. She was ready to go from the start and was one of the first to call."

Bethesda Methodist Church, on Klees Mill Road, was among the churches that offered to help Ms. Hurwitz. The 150-member congregation collected money and dozens of gallons of bottled water for the flood victims.

"This small church went to such great extents to collect things. We're real pleased," Mr. Allen said.

The Rev. M. T. "Terrie" Modesto, the church's pastor, said many people in the congregation are farmers who felt great empathy for their flooded counterparts in the Midwest.

"They were moved by seeing all that land under water," she said. "This is a mission-oriented, outreach-oriented church. There's always been an interest in helping the community."

The donations were stored at the church until the Salvation Army could pick up the materials. Ms. Modesto said church members will continue to raise money for the flood victims.

"We'll be collecting money until the end of the month," she said. "I have a feeling we'll be doing something at Christmastime, too -- maybe collecting toys for children or something like that."

Mr. Allen said the Salvation Army will continue to help Midwest flood victims as long as its services are needed. He said Salvation Army workers also made a five-year commitment to help the victims of Hurricane Andrew, which struck the Florida coast last summer.

"Like other organizations, we're the first in and the last to leave," Mr. Allen said. "There comes a point when the public forgets about the disaster, but we're still there helping. We end up using our own operating money to help out."

C7 For more information, call Ms. Hurwitz at 876-2484.

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