Area groups helping tornado victims
by SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
Several Coweta County area organizations are collecting donations for tornado victims in Moore, Oklahoma.
The Newnan Police Department and the Peachtree City Police Department are both collecting items.
Peachtree City businessman Lori Lawrence is also collecting clothing and hygiene items, and the people at Our Community Farmer’s Market in Newnan and Peachtree City are helping with the collections.
The Peachtree City PD is working with Magnolia Disaster Relief, and the donations will be delivered to Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Requested items include water; non-perishable food items; personal hygiene products and toiletries, including toothbrushes and toothpaste; tarps; rope; duct tape; work gloves; baby items, including Pediasure and Pedialyte; geriatric supplies; and camping equipment, including tents and portable stoves.
Because the items will be shipped so quickly, there isn’t time to separate clothing items, according to Cpl. Ryan Maccallum at the PTC PD. Therefore they are requesting new clothing, such as packaged underwear, T-shirts, and socks. “Future trips will be made and updates will be provided for donation locations as available,” he said.
Items can be dropped off at the PTC PD, located at 350 Hwy. 74 South, today from 11 am. to 3 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m., and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, contact Maccallum at 770-487-8866 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
The police department can’t accept cash donations, but donations may be made to the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org. Or you can contact Lani Nichols with Magnolia Disaster Relief at Lanianichols@gmial.com for information on donating gift cards.
The Newnan Police Department will be collecting items through June 5. Needed items include new and gently-used clothing for men, women and children, diapers, baby food, bottled water and hygiene products.
Items can be dropped off at the Newnan Police Department at 25 Jefferson St. in downtown Newnan (at the Wadsworth Auditorium).
To arrange pickup of large donations, contact Officer Chad Wood at 770-254-2355, ext. 116, or at 404-535-0489.
Two years ago, Lori Lawrence’s parents lost their home to a tornado that ripped through the Manchester/Warm Springs area.
Hearing about the events in Oklahoma “brought all those emotions back,” she said. “I know what those families are feeling this morning and what they are about to experience in trying to put their lives back together.”
When her parents lost their home, “we were so blessed, with such an outpouring from our friends and family — and so many strangers — that were there to help clean up and pick up… and just do whatever we needed help with,” she said. The devastation in Oklahoma “just really affected me. And I said ‘alright, Lord, what do you want me to do?’ And he just kind of laid this on my heart,” she said. Lawrence is collecting donations through her business, My Pampered Pooch. “Because we have a business, we really encounter a lot of people. I’m hoping we can do some good.”
Lawrence is concentrating on clothes, and is asking donors to group them according to size. “That way, when we get there,” it will be easy to hand out the clothing items “as opposed to just showing up with an unorganized” heap of clothing, she said.
“Everybody seems to be doing some spring cleaning right now,” Lawrence said. “We’re just asking people to go through their closets and see what they can part with. It’s not like people necessarily need business clothes or winter clothes. They need the basics,” she added. In addition to clothes, “we’re trying to get toothpaste and toothbrushes and combs.”
Ideally, donations would consist of entire outfits, each in a zip-top or other bag, labeled with the size and contents.
Lawrence plans to get the donations to Oklahoma in about a week. If she gets enough donations, she’s going to try to work with a local trucking firm to use an 18-wheeler. If not, “I’m going to rent a U-Haul truck and take it out there,” she said.
Lawrence added that someone from her church, Crossroads, will be “heading out this weekend with a bunch of stuff.”
Our Community Farmer’s market is in Peachtree City Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the MacDuff Crossing shopping center, and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the History Center at the train depot on East Broad Street in downtown Newnan.
Or people can drop off items at My Pampered Pooch, 2862 W. Hwy. 54, Peachtree City, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
“If you can’t get them to us, we may be able to arrange pickup,” said Lawrence.
In addition, “if you belong to a small group and would like to put together a collection please contact me ASAP,” she said.
For more information contact Lawrence at 770-629-1845.