Operation: T-shirts for rescuers

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 14, 2001

Features Editor

People all across the country have been affected by the "Attack on America" and everyone seems to want to do something – anything – to help.

The members of Hephzibah Baptist Church have found a way and they are offering the Pike County community an opportunity to be a part of this outreach program from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday at the Wal-Mart parking lot.

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"We understand there is a great need for tee shirts and socks which will be provided to workers at the sites of both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon," said Meredith Welch, who is coordinating the project spearheaded by the Helping Hands Children’s Ministry and supported by the church membership. The Salvation Army has issued a request for new tee shirts and socks which can be distributed to the rescue workers."

The items will be provided to the workers whose clothing is being ruined by soot and dust and soaked with water in their attempts to dig through the rubble to locate bodies and hoping to find survivors from Tuesday’s attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. 

"They get very dirty and wet and the tee shirts and socks will help to refresh them after they complete their shifts," Welch said. "Many of them can’t go home for a change of clothes and others just don’t want to leave. A clean shirt and socks will, hopefully, give them a lift.

It will, at least, lift their spirits knowing that others appreciate what they are doing in their rescue efforts and their efforts to locate the bodies of those killed in the vicious attack and in the cleanup operation."

Welch said the rescue, search and cleanup efforts will go on for weeks, so the need for fresh tee shirts will continue until the job is done.

"We are asking for people in our area to donate tee shirts to this project," she said. "The shirts should be new and should be large and extra-large sizes. They don’t have to be expensive shirts and many businesses and organizations might have tee shirts with their logos that they would like to donate. We will appreciate all donations."

Cash donations are also need to assist with the cost of shipping the shirts to the affected areas.

Hephzibah Baptist Church will have a donation site set up from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Shirts and socks may also be dropped off today at Ken Cox Ford on Highway 231, Troy Cablevision on South Brundidge Street, WTBF on the square and Dykes Drugs in Brundidge.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in this project to support the rescue, search and cleanup efforts in New York and Washington, D.C.

"We have set a goal of 500 shirts and we hope to surpass that," Meredith said. "We believe we will because we know the spirit of the people of Pike County."