“Send us a bigger truck!”
Frank Jeys, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s clothing collection organizer for this area, had expected to be able to carry Blanco County’s collection in his pickup truck to the warehouse for sorting and sanitizing.
When he arrived at the interfaith drive’s mid-point, he found the First United Methodist Church in Johnson City loaded with at least three trucks’ worth, and more coming in, and half of the drive yet to go.
St Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Blanco had already delivered carloads of clothing...twice! So did Blanco United Methodist Church.
“I knew we’d have a good response to the call for donations of wearable used clothing,” said Pastor Ken Greene of Blanco UMC, “but I didn’t expect that much.”
The Dollar General stores in Blanco, Johnson City and Marble Falls came through with substantial donations of new but unsold clothing. At the Thrift Store in Johnson City, Mary Gonzales also cleared racks of unsold clothes and gave them to the campaign.
Another big donation was from Rushmoore House Ministry in Blanco, which sent an SUV so jammed with bags and boxes of clothing for disaster victims that there was barely room for driver and dog.
Word of Blanco County’s campaign spread across the county line. A man in New Braunfels had been collecting clothing but had no way to deliver it to those who needed it, when he found a newspaper story about the drive online. Could he send what he gathered through us? Sure.
A lady in Hays County posted the notice about the campaign on AOL’s national board. We didn’t get donations from Idaho or Delaware (yet), but it’s good to know that people across the country are saying nice things about Blanco County.
“It’s nice to get positive publicity for Blanco County,” said Pastor Norman Roe of Johnson City’s First UMC, “but of course that’s not why we do it.
“We do it because people in Joplin and Tuscaloosa and Morgan City need the help, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to give it. Christian churches have been doing it for two thousand years, so it’s pretty well in our blood.”
Some of this collection is likely to find its way to Joplin, Missouri, but they’re still in need in Alabama, too, and the flood victims along the Mississippi will need help for a long time. And the next wave of floods is just beginning up in the northwest.
“For a first-time campaign, you’ve had an amazing success here,” Jeys praised. “Blanco County can be proud of itself. But the need never goes away...just the locations of the disasters...so now you need to start planning for next year.
“We’ve got an 18-wheeler we’d like to see you fill.”