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Send help with the people you trust

While relief efforts continue for the people struck by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita swept another torrent of terror across Louisiana and the people already struggling as well as the new victims in Texas.

Some people are talking about God's wrath on a sinful world; some are just plain puzzled by events taking place in the Deep South. But, no matter how you view the total destruction of areas struck by the devastation, those victims are still people and they need help.

I listened to the tragic details of the events as provided by the media and I cannot help thinking how very blessed we are. Sure, we got knocked for a loop by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, but how can we even compare the property damage and slight inconvenience of being without water and power for a time to the destruction our Southern neighbors face today?

I am proud of the efforts of the Golden Gates Interfaith Disaster Response Team in that they have already made two trips down to Waveland, Ms., an area hard hit by the two hurricanes.

While the dedicated volunteers of the Interfaith Team, made up of people from various churches in Gates County, have carried tractor/trailer loads of building materials, tarps, foods, clothing and many other needed items to the victims, much more is needed. They continue to gather items to take down in their next trip.

Currently, they are collecting bedding and sheets, which are urgently needed, and there is also a need for school supplies, and school back packs for both younger and older boys and girls. Those who would like to do so may also send Bibles for the stricken people.

Even in the face of devastation, they still hang on to their faith and need Bibles lost in the floods to comfort them.

Anyone who would like to learn more about this group of devoted Christians should contact them for more information. They are easy to find. Just ask at any Gates County church and you will find members of the Team.

You may also contact the Coordinator of the Team's efforts, Marian Pickering at 357-1506, or email her at adam1@schoollink.net or call 465-9964, or contact interfaithgatescounty@earthlink.net

The Team has plenty of proof of the good they are doing in the wake of the two hurricanes. They not only have videos but also photographs and they would be happy to share with anyone interested in learning more about the efforts of the GGIDR Team. The volunteers gather for meetings at the EIC building on Main Street just past the Dollar General Store. Call to find out about their next meeting and try to attend.

I would urge citizens of Gates County to do as you always do; get behind this effort and shore it up with all the support you can offer. There are so many organizations "out there" right now and all are asking for funding for the victims. Why not give your contribution to the very people we live next door to and they, in turn, will deliver help to the victims and bring back a report of their activities with film and photos.