Cartersville Cares teams with county to assist storm victims
by Shaka S. Lias
May 01, 2011 | 2977 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bartow County residents came together in a major way this past week to help victims affected by Wednesday's tornado.

Included in those efforts are three mothers, who on Thursday started Cartersville Cares.

"We're just three moms that knew there was a need and knew we wanted to do something, and it just blossomed into this," Kris Conduff said. Conduff, along with Jacquelyn Ray and Nicole Padgett, with the help of volunteers, have been busy since.

"If a person sat down and thought, 'I'm living in a tent outside my home that's just been destroyed, what do I need?' -- they need it," Conduff said of the victims of Wednesday's tornado.

On Thursday, with the help of McDonalds, 250 people were fed in Adairsville. A station was set up at North Point Church and volunteers used ATVs for families unable to leave their homes.

Cartersville Cares is working with the Emergency Management Agency to get food and supplies to the Crowe Springs community. Items such as boxes and garbage bags also are needed, Conduff said, "so that they can start cleaning up their mess and box up things they have left."

With the help of donations from residents and businesses, 200 meals were taken to storm victims on Friday morning. A group of volunteers also prepared sack meals to distribute for lunch and dinner.

Conduff said the community response has been great. About two dozen volunteers came to Church at Liberty Square Friday morning to help prepare meals for 50 families.

Conduff said there are people camping at their homes. "We are going to get food brought to them," she said.

Cartersville Cares is still seeking food donations and volunteers. Originally, Church at Liberty Square served as the main donation post, however that location closed on Saturday and moved to Grace Baptist Church.

David Franklin, associational missionary for the Bartow Baptist Association is coordinating the efforts of all the churches.

Meanwhile, Cartersville Cares organizers said they have teamed with the county to be more organized and will be up and running again on Monday. A total of 1,600 people were fed on Friday and donations were still pouring in Saturday.

Nancy McDaniel is one of the volunteers who heard about the organization through Facebook.

McDaniel said donations from local McDonalds and Zaxby's in Calhoun have been appreciated, and Walmart in Cartersville and Acworth also have donated items.

"We've been really blessed," she said.

Conduff said no item is too big or small.

"They are grateful for anything," she said of the victims.

Cartersville Cares also is requesting backpacks with items needed for those camping near their homes. Personal care items --deodorant, soap, bandages, antibiotic ointments, bottled water, protein bars, breakfast bars, sports drinks --also are needed. For updated information, the group asks to check the Cartersville Cares Facebook page.

Items needed include:

Bread

Bottled water

Chips

Large boxes for transport

Lunch sized paper bags

Plastic sandwich bags

Juice boxes

Cookies and snacks

Items for a sacked meal

Napkins

Four wheelers

Chain Saws

Garbage bags

Cash donations