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Food in tornado’s wake

AMERICUS Ga. — When the Middle Flint Chapter American Red Cross office was destroyed along with its disaster relief supplies in a tornado here Thursday, March 1, Church members quickly provided more than 400 personal care kits for tornado victims in the Red Cross shelter at the First Baptist Church.
AP PhotoA shopping center and homes lie in ruins after a deadly tornado ripped through Americus, Ga., March 1. In response, Church members provided 25,000 pounds of food and personal care kits to tornado victims.
Lynn Hicks, regional Red Cross director, indicated to Church representatives 24 hours after the disaster that the most critical need was food. So that evening, 25,000 pounds of food and an additional 500 personal care kits arrived from the Church’s Atlanta storehouse. Two days later, most of the commodities had been distributed to the needy.
“They were so appreciative when we arrived,” said Melanie Sorensen, an Albany resident who delivered the first of the kits.
The initial 400 kits had been in storage in neighboring Albany, Ga., where Relief Society sisters had prepared them last May in anticipation of the coming hurricane season. Each kit contains toothpaste, a comb and other needs for personal care for disaster victims.
Four members in the Americus Branch, Albany Georgia Stake, needed clean-up assistance and tree removal after the storm. Church members also helped their neighbors.
Wade Corbet, a rural resident of Sumter County near Andersonville, Ga., had been 48 hours in his home with no power, no telephone, and no idea how to extricate his truck from the shed that was covered with fallen trees. He also had a large tree on the front entrance of the home, a resulting hole in the roof, and serious medical problems that prevented him from performing any physical labor.
But Saturday morning, when Church volunteer work crews arrived to help Latter-day Saint Ron Guynn, they also helped Mr. Corbet.
“I knew my neighbor had needs, so we went over, cleaned his yard, and put a tarp over the hole in his roof,” Brother Guynn said.

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