Relief efforts gear up in Adairsville
by Jason Lowrey
Feb 01, 2013 | 3107 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Paige Kerr, from left, Autumn Osteen, Lyric Geeslin, Lauren Smith and Karlie Dean fill boxes with food at IMPACT, a food bank outreach of NorthPointe Church. Some of the food being boxed is scheduled to be delivered to Adairsville tornado victims. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Paige Kerr, from left, Autumn Osteen, Lyric Geeslin, Lauren Smith and Karlie Dean fill boxes with food at IMPACT, a food bank outreach of NorthPointe Church. Some of the food being boxed is scheduled to be delivered to Adairsville tornado victims. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Organizations ranging from the United Way and the Red Cross to local churches have begun taking donations and distributing food, clothing and other goods in the opening rounds of providing Adairsville with storm relief.

The United Way is prioritizing cash donations at the moment, as many organizations are still surveying Adairsville to see what type of aid is needed. However, supply donations such as bottled water, flashlights, batteries, diapers and blankets may be made at drop-off sites at The Daily Tribune News, 251 S. Tennessee St., Cartersville, and WBHF Community Radio, 7 N. Wall St., Cartersville.

“We’re still, right now, taking donations before we know how [much] we’ll have to give out. That’s in progress,” said Cynthia Ball of the United Way.

Monetary donations for the United Way can be made at all Century Bank branches. Checks should be made payable to the United Way Disaster Relief Fund. An initial total of donations made thus far was not yet available.

The Red Cross has established an emergency shelter at the Manning Mill Youth Facility at 163-B Manning Mill Road in Adairsville. According to a Red Cross press release, the shelters were open Thursday and provided cots, blankets, food health services and other items. The Salvation Army has partnered with the Red Cross to provide food and water at the shelter.

Jeffrey Putnam, executive director of the Northwest Georgia Chapter of the Red Cross, said the Manning Mill shelter was “running smoothly.” He added the organization’s damage assessment teams were Thursday to inspect the storm damage.

“We had damage assessment teams that were out today, surveying the damage, and the purpose of that is to determine the other needs that we need to bring in and try to help fulfill, such as mobile feeding...distribution, that type of stuff. That’s how we determine what other assistance is needed,” Putnam said.

The teams will continue their inspections today, Putnam added, and he hoped they would finish their work today.

Putnam also urged those interested in making donations to make monetary donations rather than giving food or water.

“We’re doing well on that part. We do really need to reach out to the community to start making financial donations to help cover all this expense. ... That’s how we operate, we’re donor-driven [and we] totally operate on donations,” he said.

Those wishing to make a monetary donation to the Northwest Georgia Chapter of the Red Cross may do so by calling 706-291-6648. Those interested in donating to the Salvation Army may do so at www.salvationarmygeorgia.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

Local churches have also begun taking donations and readying themselves to provide aid.

In one example, NorthPointe Church of Adairsville has increased the output of its food pantry to provide ready-to-eat box meals for those in need. The food pantry is located at the church’s IMPACT center on Joe Frank Harris Parkway and volunteers expect it to be open 10 a.m. to noon today. Deliveries of boxed good to affected areas in downtown Adairsville were expected, but volunteers were unsure when the deliveries were scheduled.

NorthPointe is also accepting donations of tarps, first aid supplies, thick contractor garbage bags, diapers and cleaning supplies. At this time they are not accepting donations of clothing or furniture.

The Bartow Christian Disaster Response Team is searching for volunteers to work on chainsaw teams. To volunteer, visit the group’s website, www.bartowrecovery.org, and submit a personal or corporate application. The group also will take monetary donations and gift card donations.

For those interested in volunteering, but are unaffiliated with an organization, Bartow County EMA Director and Fire Chief Craig Millsap said Adairsville Church of God will essentially function as the headquarters for all volunteer and donation efforts.

“Volunteers, those in need and donations new point of contact, collection and distribution point at Adairsville Church of God, 770-773-3264,” Millsap said. “If anybody is wanting to try to volunteer, they will have to go through this number, be coordinated and put on [a] team, and be credentialed. If they don’t go through this, they won’t be allowed in — period.”

For those seeking additional information about donation or volunteer needs on a constant basis, Do Your Part, an Atlanta-based disaster response organization, has created the Facebook page Adairsville Georgia Tornado Info, which aggregates volunteer and donation requests, donation locations and other information.