For flood victims, cleanup requires money and people
Lewis County has enough canned food and donated furniture for flood victims devastated by last week's storm. What it really needs now is...
Seattle Times staff reporter
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Lewis County has enough canned food and donated furniture for flood victims devastated by last week's storm. What it really needs now is muscle and money.
Sgt. Stacy Brown of the Lewis County Sheriff's Office said the best ways people can help the county now are by providing labor and financial assistance.
"Manual labor is really important at this point, and I think the needs are going to change and evolve over time," she said.
Giving gift cards or cash donations to the cause is better than donated goods, she said.
"The people who lost the contents know best what they need," she said.
St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle/King County is asking for financial contributions, which will go entirely to flood victims, said organization spokesman Richard Bray.
The money, which can be donated at any St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in the area, will be used to help pay for cleaning supplies, winter clothing and rent and utilities, he said.
Lewis County United Way's executive director, Debbie Campbell, said her organization, which was overwhelmed with used donated items, wants financial aid — and elbow grease.
About 1,000 volunteers have pitched in to help the relief effort so far, but there is still a need for large, organized groups of people to tackle dirty projects — like shoveling mud out of houses and washing clothes — that can provide their own transportation.
Campbell said she also needs trucks, and people licensed to drive them, for hauling large loads of debris to landfills. Industrial-type equipment, such as dehumidifiers and heavy-duty generators, is also on the group's wish list. Those wishing to help can call United Way in Lewis County at 360-748-8100.
Campbell, who has lived in Lewis County her entire life, called the aid coordination out of her center a "grass-roots effort."
"We are all about neighbor helping neighbor. We don't sit in a shelter saying, 'Someone help me,' " she said. "We do it."
Cambell is thankful her house was not affected by the floods.
"We were spared," she said. "It's time to really help those who are dear, dear friends and great people who are just devastated."
FEMA is expected to set up an operations center in the county to assist storm victims this week.
Christina Siderius: email@example.com
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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