(A very hot & sweaty crew finished loading a 26 ft truck into the trailer at Central Reform Congregation Monday evening & posed for one last photo. Rabbi Susan Talve took our photo inside the trucks and was also part of our assembly line brigade)With your help this past Labor Day weekend, we completely filled TWO 53 ft trailers and sent them to Texas for the very first St. Louis community wide Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort.
Earlier this evening, we were notified the first truck had arrived at Houston’s World Harvest Outreach Church and was almost unloaded. The second truck is due to arrive there tomorrow morning.
So many to thank for a true interfaith community effort – young, old, black, white, gay, straight, city, suburbia, outstate – all kinds of hands accomplished what we didn’t know we could. Our heartfelt thanks to St. Louis companies, Hogan Transport and Stock Transport who magically donated trailer trucks along with drivers to make the 2 day journey to Texas.
(L) Bethesda Temple volunteers were going gangbusters Monday morning with their donations – our Hogan Driver, Jordan, on the right. (R) Teens at CRC showing off their handmade blankets on Sunday.
Five congregations & their leaders, including Rev. Traci Blackmon – Christ the King United Church of Christ, Rev. Ron Bobo – Westside Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Julian Johnson – Bethesda Temple, Pastor B.T. Rice – New Horizon Christian Church and Rabbi Susan Talve – (CRC) Central Reform Congregation were part of the effort along with ProgressWomen….and you all.
Professors from Truman State drove a carload in from Kirksville, MO and the Franklin County Women’s Advocacy Group brought a pickup truck full of items from Washington MO. Volunteers worked the entire weekend – a HUGE shout out to Shira Berkowitz, Paul Hershkowitz & Ed Finkelstein at CRC and Sahib Malik at Westside Church who was our 26 ft rental truck driver & loader (a pro truck driver himself!). I did my best to monitor every truck location and was overwhelmed at the energy & goodwill at every congregation.
(L) Judy Glazer with her wrapped blankets complete with a note of St. Louis love. (C) 4 year old Charlotte packed a box of school supplies all by herself. (R) Me with faith leaders extraordinaires, Rev. Julian Johnson, Rev. Traci Blackmon and Rabbi Susan Talve as cars kept pulling in behind us with supplies.
We collected many stories in 3 days. Judy Glazer organized an interfaith Blanket Circle of men and women who made & wrapped 30 blankets for hurricane victims. People dropped of carloads of cleaning supplies and baby products every 10 minutes it seemed —and the women’s group at Westside Church began collecting items BEFORE the announced time. We made numerous runs to Costco and Lowes almost depleting their stock of Wet/Dry Vacs and box fans. Late Monday afternoon, 15 volunteers waited for the 26 ft truck to arrive at CRC and then assembly line style moved items from one truck to the other in 90 degree temps. Over 70 people, some in other states, donated almost $6000 online and another $2500 in gift cards magically appeared.
I was very emotional Monday night as we finally closed and locked up the packed trailers. Much love, sweat and hours of devotion went into every packed tub, box, & blanket. St. Louis community worked side by side & gave their hearts all weekend….how could you NOT be verklempt?
BUT GUESS WHAT —WE AREN’T STOPPING
Stock Transport has donated a THIRD TRUCK because donations keep coming in. We know it’s going to be a very long process of recovery for those who lost everything.
Sahib Malik & Rev. Ron Bobo with Westside MB Church will be taking the lead. He has offered to bring one of his company trucks to pickup any items anywhere in the city in the next several weeks (contact me if you are sponsoring a relief effort drive). Hazelwood School District has volunteered to help district wide also.
THIS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 – 11AM to 3PM—Bring items to Westside Missionary Baptist Church, 2677 Dunn Road (off east I-270).
UPDATED ITEMS NEEDED NOW:
New clothing, new underwear, shoes, personal care items, baby formula, diapers, baby wipes, non-perishable food, canned food, cleaning supplies, bleach, heavy duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, goggles, respirators, tarps, new or used but functional fans, generators, power washers, wet/dry vacs, large dehumidifiers, extension cords, tripod lights, wheel barrows, push brooms, shovels, electric or cordless drills, saws, demolition hammers, drywall tools, paint, etc.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,