Like a Gael force

Goretti students donate to hurricane relief

Goretti students donate to hurricane relief

September 23, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

WASHINGTON COUNTY - A short hallway in front of the principal's office at St. Maria Goretti High School was virtually turned into a storage bin by students for the first half of the week.

Members of the school's administration not only allowed students to put items such as water bottles and diapers there, they were impressed by their actions.

The Florida Hurricane Relief Drive, conducted by the school's National Honor Society and two parents - Maria Merritt and Rose O'Berry - ended Wednesday afternoon as several vehicles bound for Twigg's Cycles on U.S. 40 were loaded with goods.


The school drive began after Merritt and O'Berry found out that a Blue-Gray Transport trailer would be parked at Twigg's Cycles as a collection point for emergency supplies for hurricane-devastated Florida.

That effort began after Valen Meadows, of Meadows Agency of Insurance in Boonsboro, received an e-mail from a friend in Florida who likened conditions to that of a third-world country and began rallying Tri-State area businesses.

Diane Favret, director of admissions and marketing at the high school, said was impressed by how quickly the school drive came together. About five van loads and one carload worth of donated items were amassed there by early Wednesday afternoon, just two days after it was announced to students, she said.

"This whole area was filled with gallons of water, bedding, clothing," Favret said. "Today, the mailman was tripping over stuff. It was great."

National Honor Society members Lauren Burton and Tom Horejs were among those on hand for the final delivery to the tractor-trailer.

Burton, president of the honor society, said students were offered a school day "out-of-uniform" for donations of at least 10 items or $20.

"I think even without the incentive, we'd have done it," Burton said as she finished emptying a car full of goods. "If we had a whole week, we would have filled this whole thing easily."

She said nearly the entire student body, as well as teachers and local businesses, made donations ranging from a few dollars to a couch.

The trailer was more than 75 percent full about three hours before its Wednesday evening departure for Florida.

Twigg's Sales Representative Paul Lynch, who helped load the truck this week, said the school's drive accounted for more than 10 percent of the total items gathered.

"They were steady bringing stuff," Lynch said. "I didn't think they'd get the turnout they did on such short notice."

Lynch said donations from the community came in steadily all week, as well.

"There's been stuff waiting for us in the mornings when we got here," he said.

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