Friday, October 28, 2011

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

I had written about how we were going through my father’s household effects as a part of his move to an assisted living facility here in town.  When he and my mother moved to Manassas in 2003, they brought with them much of what they had on their farm in Loudoun County where they had lived for over 40 years.  Since my mom was unable to help with packing and paring down the items it was left to my dad and his sister to make the cuts. (I was out of town for some reason.) They sold some things and gave away others, packed the rest and moved it into town.

My dad lived in that house until 2008 when he moved to a retirement home.  He rented the house, and the possessions he didn’t take with him went into storage. When he moved to assisted living, he took what he needed with him. (These moves were done by friends, family members and boyfriends, whose assistance I deeply appreciate.)

And so, I and friends and relatives went through what was left, saved some of it, threw some of it away and marked the rest for donation.  We debated which agency to donate it to, and Becky mentioned a group that was collecting household items for the victims of Tropical Storm Lee who lived in the Holly Acres housing development. We decided that would be a good cause to contribute to, so last Saturday we loaded my nephew’s 30-foot trailer with all manner of household goods, and he drove it to the collection center at the B Thrifty store in Woodbridge. Our nephew, his assistant and several able-bodied young men from the sponsoring church and PTA quickly unloaded what we had brought and took them upstairs to a storage space.

The need for help continues.  The effort, sponsored by Belmont Elementary School, Fred Lynn Middle School, Freedom High School and Potomac Crest Baptist Church in Montclair, will run through the end of the year. to assist the victims of Tropical Storm Lee.

Belmont parent and Potomac Crest member Deanna Welch is coordinating the effort.  She may be reached at 1-910-494-3794 (her number was in a News and Messenger story about the relief effort. In that article she said clothes, shoes, toiletries and cash donations for future rent and security deposits are needed. Prince William County Public Schools and SPARK, the school division's education foundation, are accepting tax-deductible monetary donations.

According to the article, these donations may be submitted by credit card online via SPARK’s PayPal account, or by checks mailed to SPARK at P.O. Box 389, Manassas, VA 20108. Checks should be made payable to the PWCS Education Foundation and with “flood relief” in the memo line on checks or in the payment notes on PayPal.

We felt blessed to have had these things to donate, and I was impressed with these neighbors who stepped forward to help those who lost everything. I hope you’ll take some time to go through what you have and share with those who are less fortunate, if not with this effort, with any of the other charitable causes in the area.

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