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Thanks to Hagerstown's Katrina volunteers

November 12, 2005|By Patrick R. Mayhew

To the editor:

Our effort for the hurricane relief has ceased operations at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds and we would like to extend our gratitude, on behalf of the victims and from us personally. The Tri-State area as a whole went far and beyond the call of duty and as a community we stand united and proud. The beauty of the effort was the far-reaching and multi-directional form it took. Faces we will never see, hands we will never shake, but neighbors we will forever be.

We aided victims in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as charities and families in our own area. Neighbors helping neighbors. What a beautiful and wondrous experience that we volunteers shared.

Our united community produced loads of ice, water, food, health products, cleaning aids, medical equipment and supplies, as well as household goods, clothes, toys, school supplies, fuel expenses, pet supplies and funds for the Red Cross.

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Trailers of supplies were produced and sent South. Even while the three storms raged, all sorts of supplies were sent almost everyday in one form or another.

Volunteers showed up at all times of the day and they worked very hard sorting and loading the many trucks, all the while with an intense sense of urgency and with the most cheerful attitudes one could possibly imagine. The heat of the hot sun and the humidity of the sheltered grandstands could not slow these dedicated heroes. Oh, how they toiled.

The donations were brought to us, the donors always helped us unload the supplies and, wonder of wonders, thanked the volunteers for what we were doing.

Each and every volunteer and donor expressed the desire to do more. No wonder America is great. Tri-State citizens did not wait for direction from anybody; they stepped up and did what their hearts told them to do.

We know that trying to thank each volunteer would embarrass these wonderful people, but please accept our admiration. We are honored to call you our friends.

There are people and organizations that made our experience so wonderful, like Cory Cortney, a wheelchair-bound hero who worked as hard and long as any of us. Or Donna Shoop, who worked long hours in the health field, then spent even more hours sorting heavy loads of canned goods, even while in pain herself.

There was Mary Barnhart, who thought she couldn't do much because of her infirmity. Hah! What a clothes sorting and folding machine she was. Jay Friend, thank you. Jim Curtman - what a man, what a Marine. Greta Likens -from out of nowhere she appeared and the effort was far better because she did. Chris Guyton, Gladys Stout and Kelly Koons, great job girls.

We also want to send a special thanks to Ruth Callaham and Mayor Dick Trump.

We wish to thank Hoffman Transport, D&D Trucking, Jet Transport, Mack Trucks, Rentals Unlimited, Nextow, Domino's and Wendy's. Thank you ,Food Resources, Community Free Clinic, Dee Mayberry, WHAG-TV, WJEJ and The Herald-Mail.

Thank you, Karen Giffin and Junior Mason, and your crew as well as everyone from the City of Hagerstown who gave us so much support and help.

Thanks for the beautiful lady who brought us boxes. We sure needed them. Thank you, Doris and Audrey.

I know this letter is long, but before it ends a word should be given to all the schoolchildren in the area who sent food, school supplies, letters and wishes. We do not need to worry about how our country will go on, when these children take over the world it will be a better place, thanks kids.

Please recognize Northern Middle, St. Mary's, Greencastle Elementary and Middle schools, Kearneysville Elementary, Mercersburg Elementary, as well as so many teachers from around the Tri-State area. These folks are real heroes, everyday.

We must thank Mike Hollingshead, who kept our business going and still found time to help every way he could. Connie and I are very lucky to be associated with him.

In closing, thanks to all of you, my neighbors and fellow citizens. We know we have forgotten many names and companies. It was not intentional, rather it is because there are so many and our hearts are so full. When the need again presents itself, we will come together again and again. God bless all.

Patrick R. Mayhew
VIP Mobility
Hagerstown

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