Local Community Helps Charley Victims - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/18/04

Local Community Helps Charley Victims

People from right here at home are figuring out ways to help our neighbors further south. A group from Guyton made a last-minute decision and got on the road to Florida last night. They've got everything from canned food and paper goods to hundreds of gallons of clean drinking water.

It was a quick stop at the Safe Haven Church pantry and then over to one of the strangest delivery trucks you'll ever see: a tour bus.

"It's kind of typical of Guyton. When there's a need, somebody helps," said resident Allen Lanier. "We got a bus, and we got a neighborhood and a community that wants to help, so we're going to take a load down."

Lanier's family heard from a friend that things are dire in Arcadia, Florida, where they're slowly recovering from Hurricane Charley. "He's a pretty tough old Army sergeant and with a tear in his eye, he said, 'We need water. We need water,'" recalled Lanier.

So they made a quick decision: load up as much as possible and get on the road, with less than a day to get it all organized. They even got the blessing of their church to wipe out the food pantry there.

"We're not looking for notoriety, we're looking for hungry people and people that's in need spiritually, physically and financially if we can," said Pastor Emmett Patterson.

If everything goes as planned, they'll be going down again on Monday with supplies that will dwarf the amount they've got for this trip.

So far, they've got more than a thousand dollars in donations and hope that with a little pre-planning, by next week, they can get a lot more.

A lot of their supplies for this first trip have been donated by stores, while the Boy Scouts collected all the canned food. Even the City of Guyton has gotten in on helping Arcadia with a monetary donation.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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