On Monday September 12, 2011, My son Timmy and I went over to the Athens Township Fire Hall to lend a hand. We were there for seven hours doing what we could to help with what ever was needed. I heard some heart warming stories and see even more.
Timmy and I worked in the food section, handing food to displaced residents, and we will do this again today. As we helped Marie K, Marie G and others pack boxes for families, we saw the tears and felt the love. Many people were too proud to ask for food, and cried when they had to ask. For those folks, please know your community cares about you and has the means to help you out. We do not want anyone to go hungry.
There is much food, in fact, there are 8 huge tables at the fire hall filled with food, and the tables have plenty of food under the tables as well. There is plenty more stored at other locations to replace what is given to families. SO please do not hesitate to ask for food, we will set you up. We’d fill a box and next thing you knew members of the community were bringing more boxes of food to donate. About the only thing I seen that people would ask for, and we did not have much of was prune juice. Trust me its important!
The clothes and cleaning supplies sections were as busy as the food section was. Families in need came for what they needed and more were dropped off, if you are in need of any food, cleaning supplies and clothes, get to the fire hall and you will be given what you need.
There are families and single people in the shelter, if you can put someone up please do so. The Red Cross people at the shelter will let you know who needs the help.
Also donations of food are given to the Fire hall, so any one in need can go get breakfast, lunch or dinner. Yesterday’s dinner included hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken along with salads, and other main dishes.
The Epiphany church in Sayre made bag lunches for people doing clean up. There were over 2,000 lunches made and delivered. Myrtle Timm and Diana McBride went to Athens passing out these, while Sylvia Fuller did the same in the Cannon Hole area. Lunches were also handed out in the East Side of Sayre to anyone working.
These lunches were complete lunches, with a sandwich, snack, fruit and a drink. Each bagged lunch included a slip of paper with a note on it from the church, some were hand written and some were computer generated. I did not have a lunch but I was able to get one of the papers and it reads; “Epiphany RC Parish Sayre, is thinking of you and praying for you. May you find your daily strength and needs in God and in God’s People. Blessings of Hope and of a speedy restoration for you and yours.
Of the donations the fire hall received in the last few days, some have really stuck out in the minds of the volunteers who accepted them. I will share some of these.
An elderly woman from Sayre, came to drop off her items. She had to park on the other side of the lot away from the building. The woman perhaps 85 or so who could barley walk on her own accord, pushed her walker, she was met by a volunteer who offered help. This woman was dropping off three single rolls of toilet paper. It was all she could spare, but it made a difference. This woman deeply touched the volunteer who accepted the items and helped her back to the car.
A group of baseball players cam down from Buffalo with supplies for our valley. For those of you reading this, Buffalo New York is at least a 4 to 4 and a half hours away from here. These ball players gave donations and helped in other ways.
A former AHS student whose father was a long time fourth grade teacher at Athens, brought supplies from Avon New York. A bunch of families in that Avon gathered together and the former student delivered them in a tow behind trailer.
A couple along with two young children from Binghhamton, New York which was hard hit, brought down a truck load of supplies .
Sutty’s has donated a use at the fire hall. Bishops has donated two porta potties for use in down town Athens. Members of the Gas companies are delivering water, and pumping cellars on company time to help out. Tetanus shots are being given at a mobile unit in downtown Athens.
If you go in downtown Athens during the cleanup, put down the camera its not a tourist attraction. Get out and help or pass out water. People have lost everything here in this area so please be kind. You would not want strangers descending on your home watching you toss out your belongings.
Also if you are in the area many pets are missing, I know of at least 2 missing cats. These are the pets of a hard working girl, who works two jobs. 20 yr old girl Joscelyn Proesch is missing a calico cat named Jersey and bobbed tail brown cat named Mittens in the vicinity of Locust, Edward or Herrick streets. Contact me if you know the whereabouts of these cats.