Residents can help storm victims

Published 12:02 am Friday, April 29, 2011

Local residents now have at least two local opportunities to show those affected by Wednesday’s tornado outbreaks that “Covington County Cares.”

Local businesses, including WAAO, Piggly Wiggly, Hollies Bakery in Coffee County and Huggins Sod Farm, are sponsoring a relief effort, aptly called “Covington County Cares,” to send truckloads of much-needed supplies to those in need.

WAAO owner Blaine Wilson said M&S Trucking has three tractor trailers set up at the Andalusia Piggly Wiggly to collect and haul the items.

Wilson said a truck fully loaded with water left for Birmingham at 8 last night, but was redirected to Tuscaloosa.

Some 150 volunteers helped on Thursday. Plans are to send more truckloads today and Saturday.

Wilson said the first rig is due back to Andalusia on Saturday morning, and they hope to fill it as well.

Those interested in helping can donate “necessity items,” including water, charcoal, paper products, toilet paper, forks, knives, sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade, deodorants, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, towels and bath cloths.

No carbonated drinks and no non-perishable canned foods can be accepted.

Financial donations for this disaster can be given to the local Red Cross chapter.

“They’ll be cooking things on the grill,” Wilson said. “We are trying to get them enough to survive the first seven to eight days.”

Wilson said they do not have a specific location where they are sending the supplies, but it will go to the place that is most needed.

Today, Rep. Mike Jones, Sen. Jimmy Holley and Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson will be on hand to load items.

Wilson said those who are interested in following the progress, can tune in to WAAO or visit their Facebook page.

For more information, call the station at 222-1166.

Those at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College are also stepping up to the plate with their ‘T-Shirts for T-town” project.

Coordinator and LBW student Rachel Miller said there are two drop-off points for those wishing to donate T-shirts to help clothe those affected by the tornado – one, at Diaon Cook’s office in the library building, and another, at Heather Owen’s office at the student center.

You don’t have to be a LBW student to participate, Miller said.

“This is our way of helping,” Miller said. “A third grader at Opp Elementary School, Merrill Ann Culverhouse, who is a family friend, gave me the idea.

“She was going to pitch it to Mr. Kinsaul, but then said she thought it would work better at LBW,” she said. “I’m an ambassador, so I thought it was a great idea.

“The whole thing is just devastating, and we want to do what we can to help,” she said.

Miller, along with the help of Cook and fellow student Amber Kersey, immediately went to work on the project.

She said all the donations will be transported to Tuscaloosa along with the items collected at Piggly Wiggly.

For more information, contact the group “T-shirts for T-town” via Facebook.