The following article, from this morning’s Akron Beacon-Journal newspaper, details continuing hurricane relief efforts being coordinated out of the Norton, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church South Campus (Bob Combs, pastor).
Operation Adoption loading up
By Jewell Cardwell
Akron’s Belinda Barton hasn’t forgotten Hurricane Katrina or all of the suffering left in its aftermath.
That’s why the 46-year-old Gulfport, Miss., native and retired Metro Parks ranger organized the first “Operation Adoption” truckload of relief supplies for that region a few weeks ago. That’s why she has made several trips there.
And it’s why she’s setting up donation sites for the people of North Gulfport, whom Barton said were already the poorest of the poor before Katrina reached land.
Barton is incensed at what she calls the blatant unfairness on the part of state (Mississippi) and federal government (FEMA). “You still have people camped outside and cooking on the ground,” she fumed.
“And those camping trailers some have been given aren’t safe… ”
Thanks to Barton and others, a Christmas Drive fund-raiser is under way.
Dec. 10 is the deadline to drop off new or nearly new electronics, small appliances, toys, gift cards to Home Depot and Lowe’s, and monetary donations during regular business hours at the following locations:
• Grace Brethren Church, 3970 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Norton.
• Monroe Muffler & Brake shops throughout Northeast Ohio.
• Hamrick Truck Driving School, 1156 Medina Road (State Route 18), Medina.
• J&J Sales and Service, at 817 Lafayette Road, Medina.
• Norton City Hall, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive.
No clothes, please. “They have more than enough,” Belinda said.
During her last visit, Belinda forged a friendship with volunteers from Colorado who are sending two planes to Akron-Canton Airport to transport the cargo to North Gulfport before Christmas.
“The same group, led by Craig Cato, also has assembled doctors and nurses to set up a medical clinic there,” Belinda enthused. “They’re also bringing in carpenters, plumbers and electricians to give these people the decent housing they deserve.”
Interested in helping? Call Belinda Barton at 330-958-3430 or Grace Church’s administrator, William Blue, at 330-825-6291.