Fuel donation rounds out relief effort
All the pieces are coming together in a local effort to send supplies to the tornado-ravaged city of Joplin, Mo.
Following donations of a semi truck and driver and a trailer to haul the goods, organizer Deborah Herrell put out the call earlier this week for cash donations to pay the estimated $2,000 worth of diesel fuel needed to make the trip.
“I got a call from Mike Fattor at Western Petroleum, and he agreed to donate all the fuel,” Herrell said. “He was so enthusiastic, I could hear him smiling when I was talking to him.”
That’s sort of how things have fallen into place for Herrell, who began the local relief effort last week and has been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support from area residents.
Local trucker Jim Condon offered his time and truck to pull the load, and Sho Motion of Denver provided the trailer.
Orrison Distributing also donated the pallets and shrink wrap needed to secure the supplies for the trip, and the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Youth Group was busy the last two days collecting the donated items from the various drop-off locations. The youth group members also penned notes to send to the victims in Joplin.
“All across the community it has just been amazing,” said Herrell. “I’ve met some of the most amazing people through all of this.”
With all of the disasters around the world this year, from the Japan earthquake to the deadly outbreak of tornadoes on the home front this spring, Herrell said she has wanted to do something to help out the victims.
“But most of these places are so far away, it was hard to try to do anything like this,” she said. “When Joplin got hit, that made more sense. The logistics are better, and we can get there in 14 hours.
“I really feel this is what we’re supposed to do, is help other people,” she said.
Herrell has been collecting supplies intended to help the survivors of the deadly tornado that hit Joplin on May 22, killing nearly 140 people and essentially flattening the town.
She got a call Wednesday from relief workers in Joplin asking that the Glenwood Springs group put off its delivery until the first of next week, because they’re being inundated with shipments.
“They’re also getting a lot of stuff that they can’t really use, so we’re glad we stuck to exactly what they wanted,” she said.
Supplies will continue to be collected through the weekend at various locations around Glenwood Springs and upvalley near Aspen as well.
Herrell is asking for nonperishable foods that need no preparation and other emergency supplies, such as can openers, bottled water (gallon jugs), toiletries, baby items, flashlights and batteries, work gloves, blankets, tents and sleeping bags. People are asked not to donate clothes.
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Policy that dictates what for-profit activities should be officially sanctioned within Glenwood Springs parks is being reviewed by city staff and will likely come before the city council for final approval later this summer.