Blanco County’s disaster clothing drive is building momentum, as churches and groups join the individuals already clearing their wardrobes to help people who have lost theirs.
“This clothing drive is an essential part of our response to the needs of others,” said Pastor Percy Smerek of Trinity Lutheran Church in Stonewall.
“It may not be the same as laying down our lives for our neighbors, but it certainly is laying down our effort for them.”
Response to our county’s collection has come from as far away as New Braunfels, where good-hearted people were willing to donate their used clothing but had no way to get it to disaster areas. Could they send it through us?
“If they’re willing to give, our channel is open to them,” promised JoAnn Routh, at the First United Methodist Church in Johnson City, the primary drop-off point for donated used clothing all three days of Memorial Day weekend.
Our channel, in this case, is the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is known in the disaster field as the used-clothing experts. They already have a system for gathering clothing from drives like ours, sorting and sanitizing it, and storing it in the regional warehouse in Alvarado, Texas, until the call for help comes, and then Adventist trucks load up and deliver as quickly as overnight.
That call may come any time and from any where. This spring we’ve already seen wildfires in Texas, tornadoes in Alabama, and ongoing flooding along the Mississippi. The Adventists’ clothing stocks already are depleted, and in less than a week, hurricane season will begin, with forecasts of a busy one. We need to build up the supply.
Betty McNallen of St Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Blanco said members there will be cleaning out their closets this week and bringing their donations to church Sunday, then delivering them as one big load to Johnson City.
The main collection point will be in the Activity Building of the First United Methodist Church, at Avenue E and Pecan, in Johnson City. It will be staffed from 9 to 5 Saturday, 1 to 5 Sunday and 9 to 5 Monday of Memorial Day weekend.
“One of the best things about this campaign is that it’s not just one church’s effort,” said Pastor Norman Roe of the host Methodist church. “It’s not Methodist or Adventist...it’s many churches working together...and even beyond that. This is what really says who the people of Blanco County are.”
For more information about the disaster clothing drive or to volunteer to help at the collection point, call JoAnn at 830-868-7414.