Blanco County News
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Making a Difference for Fire Victims
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 • Posted September 29, 2011

The help that has come from Blanco County has been praised by relief leaders who are helping Spicewood survivors of the Labor Day fires.

Local collectors last week delivered 1,000 face masks, bags of work gloves and a stack of empty buckets to the assistance center at Grace Outreach Family Church on Highway 71. With assistance center staff depleted by needs in Bastrop, volunteers from here also have been helping staff the center this week to keep aid flowing to residents.

“We appreciate your efforts more than you know,” said Bertina Schreiber, one of the fire relief organizers from Bee Creek United Methodist Church in Spicewood.

“We don’t have the huge numbers that Bastrop does, but for our small community, the need is every bit as great.”

The Blanco County Disaster Response Group started an online campaign to gather pledges of furniture and housewares, to make up a catalog residents could choose from as they found interim housing, but that plan may have been overtaken by events even as it was getting started.

“There’s an empty two-story office building at Hidden Creek and 71 that has been loaned to us as a furniture and supply warehouse,” explained Pastor Tommy Wilborn of Grace Church, “so we have a place to put furniture, appliances and housewares while we continue the search for housing. Now we need to fill it up.”

That was perfect timing for BJ and Amber Sultemeier.

“We had a chance to replace our washer and dryer, even though they have a lot of life left in them,” Sultemeier explained, “so we were happy to see the old ones go to a family that really needs them.”

That’s a start, but much more is needed, so the appeal went out through local groups and churches for usable furniture, appliances, cookware and tableware, plus such furnishings as linens and towels.

They also need volunteers willing to spend a day or half-day doing the dirty sweat-work of clearing burned homesites to get them ready for reconstruction. Teams with clean-up training are most needed, but willing individuals can be paired with more experienced hands to get the job done.

Deliveries of furniture and furnishings can go directly to the warehouse at 5101 Hidden Creek at Hwy 71. Donors and volunteers can call the Spicewood assistance center at 512-660-5083 or 5084.

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