Volunteers, organizations come to aid of flood victims - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Volunteers, organizations come to aid of flood victims

July 15, 2005

Sylvester- Snipes IGA on North Main Street used to be one of the city's most well-known grocery stores. Now, it has been turned into donation center for flood victims.

"We collect the donations that come in. We sort them out, and then when people come in with their vouchers, we distribute what they need," says Miki Hutchinson of Boy Scout troop 100.

Boy Scouts from Sylvester and Tifton have been manning the center distributing items since it opened Thursday.

"We're discovering we're in need of cleaning items, bleach, buckets, rubber gloves, mops, things like that," Hutchinson says.

At least one Worth County business has come to the rescue. Universal Blanchers ordered a truck-load of supplies from a Dawson company and had them delivered to the donation center.

"We've got some bleach, some mops for cleaning up, some brooms and stuff like that, janitorial supplies really," says Kevin King of Massey Wholesale Company.

The food and supplies will become some of the first possessions victims who lost everything, like Stephanie Carter, will have.

"It's been great. They've been really wonderful. I'm sure the people of Sylvester really appreciate it because it took a while for everything to be processed and everything, but they're starting to work and help everybody out," Carter says.

Many national and faith-based organizations have also headed to Sylvester with the Georgia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, or VOAD, organizing their efforts.

"Red Cross, Salvation Army, all the faith-based disaster organizations, Georgia emergency Management, federal emergency management, any and everybody that's state-wide in scope is a member of Georgia VOAD," says Georgia VOAD president Bob Tribble.

In addition to coordinating immediate help, VOAD will also devise a long-term recovery plan for the city and county to help those displaced from nearly 100 homes in the area.

"Compared to Florida with the Hurricanes, that may look like it's a small thing to some, but to this community it's a big hit," says Tribble.

It's a big hit, volunteers vow to help Worth Countians bounce back from.

The city of Sylvester is asking all residents, especially flood victims, to attend a public hearing about the flood. It will held at city hall Monday night at 6. At that time city officials hope to provide more information about low-cost loans and any assistance that may be available from the state.

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