Outpouring of flood disaster relief continues

By on October 19, 2011

It has been a month since Lancaster County experienced the devastation left behind by Tropical Storm Lee. However, local residents are still feeling the impact of the damage left in the wake of this life-changing storm. Local churches, businesses and organizations have come together to embrace and meet the needs of neighbors and friends.

The response was immediate. In the first few days following the disaster, collection efforts were implemented to assist the affected families. Brian Ingraham, Director of Youth and Outreach Ministries for Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ephrata, has helped coordinate efforts by Ephrata churches. Those who have been affected by the flood or are in need of further assistance should contact him at brian@ephratarpc.com or 733-0462 extension 212.

Heather Butler and Josh Grine, from the Leola Worship Center, also set up and manned an on-site help center at the most impacted section of Ephrata for the two weeks following the flood.

"To meet the immediate needs of our local area residents, a collection/distribution center was secured and set up at the Doneckers ARTWORKS Ballroom during the week of the Ephrata Fair, Sept. 19-24," said Cindy Mellinger, Blue Ridge Communications Marking/Community Relations Coordinator. "Blue Ridge Communications also was an intermediate collection site for those unable to get into the downtown. A very special and heartfelt thank you to the overwhelming generosity and compassion of our local communities. Both sites overflowed with a wide variety of items, ranging from appliances and furniture, to bedding, clothing, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items."

Arrangements were made and opportunities are continuing to be afforded to the families to visit the North State distribution center to select requested items to meet their immediate needs.

Monetary donations are still desperately needed and may be sent to Ephrata Area Social Services (EASS). A separate account was set up for local area families. If contributing by check, make payable to "Ephrata Area Social Services" and earmark "Flood" in the memo or somehow designate the money for the Disaster Relief program. Monies will be used for housing needs, financial support, food and other urgent needs of the families. Questions may be directed to EASS at 733-0345. One hundred percent of the monies will go directly to the support of the Ephrata area residents.

Many of the most crucial and immediate concerns have been met. However, in the weeks and months to come, many will continue to deal with much more pressing issues such as ongoing temporary housing, financial assistance, clean up, painting, etc. as they begin to rebuild their homes and lives.

In an effort to give more individualized and personal attention, local churches have come alongside these families to offer support during these ongoing challenges. Local businesses, churches, nonprofit organizations and individuals are offering their time, money and resources and are committed to helping their neighbors and friends throughout this entire process. More FLOOD, page A16

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