South Georgia responds to storm victims states away - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia responds to storm victims states away

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South Georgians are familiar with mother nature's wrath, so it's not surprising many people here are helping storm victims.

Organizations from churches to utility crews are collecting supplies and food for storm victims in Alabama. Those groups will deliver the donations later this week, so there's still time for you to get involved.

It's not hard to find someone here in south Georgia who has family in Alabama or Mississippi or lived there at one time, but local groups say you don't have to have a direct connection to get involved.

Word spreads quickly via email and facebook and the news. Porterfield Methodist Church is collecting plastic containers for storm victims. Tuesday morning, car after car pulled up with containers in tow.

"I went last night to Walmart and bought all the sizes they had in the medium sizes is what they were asking for," said Yvette Armstrong, Porterfield Pre-School Director.

"I don't know why I'd been saving them, I just didn't throw them away because my daughter's all into recycling," said Deborah Marsh, a Porterfield church member.

A friend in Hackleburg, Alabama reached out to Porterfield's Minister of Music for help with the clean up. The group hopes to collect 3,000 medium sized containers for salvaged personal belongings.

"They lost their home, they lost their church, but he is really getting, they need 50,000 of these boxes," said Steven Jones, Porterfield's Music Director.

They're not the only ones, Peanut Proud got the call from another peanut growing community, Smithville, Mississippi. Wednesday, they'll load a truck in Albany like ones sent to Haiti last year full of peanut butter and bottled water for church shelters and feeding distribution centers. Churches aren't surprised others are reaching out.

"It's just people helping people, so it's not a Porterfield mission, it's an Albany thing, it's a people mission," said Jones.

For utility crews as well. Moultrie, through their Electric Cities of Georgia partnership, sent two trucks and three men to Athens, Alabama to help rebuild the citywide electric network. They've been there since Friday and will be replaced by another group because of the amount of work. Here in Albany seeing the damage called many to action.

"It's just tragic and you know if bringing some boxes can help them collect their valuables then I'm just happy to do it," said Carol Tharin, a Porterfield choir member.

Paying it forward, for storm help we've received in the past.

Porterfield is still working on how they'll transport all the containers to Alabama. Many who dropped off containers also included a note of encouragement for the families that will receive them. Peanut Proud's truck will first head to Smithville, Mississippi then make several stops in Alabama including Tuscaloosa.

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