• 79°

How to help hurricane victims

AHOSKIE – Looking for a way to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina?

You need to look no further than your own backyard.

Gilbert Vaughan, a longtime resident of Ahoskie and a veteran representative of the Salvation Army, said Wednesday his organization is in need of financial assistance as they reach out to millions of people in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi who are currently struggling just to find food and water.

"First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with those along the Gulf Coast states who were hit so hard by Katrina," Vaughan said. "But they need more than our thoughts and prayers. They are in dire need of just the basic items needed for survival. Simply put, they need food and water."

To provide those basis needs, the Salvation Army needs money to keep their relief effort going. Currently, Salvation Army canteens and storm relief teams from eight states are operational along the path of the storm.

Vaughan said the national Salvation Army headquarters has placed disaster relief teams from North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina on standby.

"We are ready to go as soon as we are called," Vaughan stressed, referencing the eastern North Carolina units based out of the Elizabeth City office.

Vaughan, chairman of the Salvation Army's Hertford County Chapter, said any monetary donations are welcomed. He said for $100, the Salvation Army could feed a family of four for two days, provide two cases of drinking water and one household clean-up kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies.

"The people of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi need your help," Vaughan stressed. "Some have nothing left in their lives but the clothes on their backs. Please help us help them."

Vaughan, who also serves as vice-chairman for the Eastern NC Salvation Army Advisory Board, said clothes and other household and personal items are not needed at the current time. He suggested taking your clothes and holding a yard sale, donating the proceeds to the Salvation Army.

Checks can be made payable to the Salvation Army, Katrina Disaster Relief, and mailed to: The Salvation Army, c/o Gilbert Vaughan, 310 North Pembroke Ave., Ahoskie, NC, 27910.