Organizations chipping in for those in need

- Posted on Apr 18, 2011 - 11:53 AM

Several local organizations have chipped in to help those in Gloucester coping with the aftermath of Saturday’s tornado. Volunteer coordination efforts will be at Bellamy United Methodist Church. Donations of food and clothing are being accepted.

GloucesterCountyis providing water buffalo trucks with potable water set up along Route 17 at WaWa at White Marsh, at Wellford/Taliaferro Wayside, at the entrance to Ware Neck and a spigot at Hickory Fork and Cedar Bush Roads until power is restored, according to spokesperson Christi Lewis.

The Red Cross, Salvation Army and Community Emergency and Response Team personnel are assisting people in need with food, water and shelter vouchers. The contact information for American Red Cross is 804-832-2711. Those impacted are asked to go to Bellamy United Methodist Church, located at 4870 Chestnut Fork Road, today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

GloucesterConvenience Centersand the Middle Peninsula Landfill and Recycling Facility at Owl Trap are under regular hours as are all convenience center sites. Pick-up loads of debris will be accepted but larger loads must be transported to the Middle Peninsula Landfill and Recycling Center. Gloucester County officials will be developing a plan for debris removal and management, Lewis said.

Sherwood Bowditch, president of the Boys and Girls Club of Gloucester, advised that as long as schools are closed, children ages 6-18 are welcome to attend the Boys and Girls Club.  During this time, there is no charge for unregistered children. Parents will need to come in and complete simple paperwork. The hours of operation will be 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. as long as schools are closed. Once schools return to a regular schedule, the regular operating rules will apply.

Lewis added that the public is advised to be very cautious of unknown businesses or individuals offering debris removal services for a set fee. She advised resident to contact their insurance company before contracting or agreeing to any work. Request identification and a copy of their business license or permit. If possible, record or take a cell-phone picture of the license plate of the vehicle. 

While there have not been reports of specific local groups using this week’s disaster to run charity scams, the public needs to ask questions and be diligent about checking out charitable solicitors who say they are raising money for relief efforts in this area, Lewis said. There are several ways to protect yourself from scammers. She said one of the best ways it to donate by check. Do not donate cash.

Finally, Lewis advised residents that an emergency helpline is still activated. Residents are asked to not call 911 for tornado damage information as these lines are needed for actual emergencies. Residents are asked to call 693-3000 for non-life threatening issues.