The Salvation Army has served over 430,000 meals to rescue workers and volunteers, but now they need cash.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Donations of all kinds have flowed into area agencies contributing to relief efforts in New York and Washington, and officials at most agencies are now asking residents to send only money.
Second Harvest Food Bank representatives Rebecca Martinez and Bill Rees marvel at the amount of stored food in the agency's Midlothian Boulevard warehouse, where food supplies to be distributed to area shelters and churches on a daily basis are kept. One section of the warehouse, however, is filled with supplies someday headed for New York City.
Rees said the agency, which has been collecting supplies since the Sept. 11 attack, is waiting on orders from the national office to send the materials. In the meantime, he said, well-meaning citizens are asked to donate money, because space is at a premium for material supplies.
"We are running into some space problems here, and believe me, I am not complaining, but that is why we are not encouraging anymore material donations," he said.
Hot line: A call to the New York State Hotline for World Trade Center Relief confirms local relief workers' workerssentiments. After a "thank you for calling" message, a recording at the 800 number makes it clear that money, not clothes and food, is what is needed.
"We have received a huge outpouring of services, goods and volunteers, and we are most grateful for that support. At this emergency response needs for goods and services have been met," the recording says. "Financial donations for the victims, survivors and their families are essential."
Mary Foley, call center representative for the hot line, said most of the need has been met for material goods at this point. She said all needed material is put into a database and request to help organizations are made for those materials as needed.
Local organizations such as the Second Harvest Food Bank are ready to heed that call with more than 11,000 pounds of material to be sent to areas where the need is greatest. Donations may be made to America's Second Harvest Food Bank and sent to 1122 Midlothian Blvd.
Stockpiling: Hubbard Mayor George Praznik, however, said residents have gathered about $25,000 worth of goods in a truck at the government building ready to be sent to New Jersey for storage. The mayor said he has made arrangements to have the goods stored in neighboring New Jersey until they are needed in New York.
Major David Lyle of the Salvation Army said that organization too has reached the needed amount of material contributions and is now looking for cash.
Lyle said the organization has 20 mobile feeding units near ground zero of the attack and to date have served about 430,000 meals to rescue workers and volunteers. He said local volunteers may soon be serving those meals personally as the Salvation Army sends volunteers on a rotating basis and Pennsylvania/Ohio is next in line.
Some organizations, such as firefighters in Girard, are looking to fill the monetary coffers of relief organizations in the same manner as the material needs have been met. The firefighters will be collecting money in firemen's boots from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday from motorists along Route 422.