2012-03-24 / News

Flood relief fund available

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON – A modest relief fund is available for Hebron area residents who experienced flood damage. “Anyone can go to Park National Bank and fill the form out,” said Pastor Brian Harkness of Hebron New Life United Methodist Church. He said the Hebron Area Relief Fund was put in place at Park National Bank of Hebron at the bank and Hebron Mayor Clifford Mason’s request as a method for the community to donate funds to help Hebron area flood victims in the wake of a series of strong storms.

Mason said as of Wednesday the fund had $3,021.60, which is double the total from the previous day. The fund is geared toward those who lost items that affect immediate health, such as a refrigerator for food storage, microwave oven, air conditioning unit, baby supplies (food, diapers, etc.), or heat if necessary.

The Lakewood Area Ministerial Association, which includes Hebron New Life Methodist Church, Hebron Christian Church, Jacksontown United Methodist Church, and First Community Church, is overseeing the relief fund in cooperation with the Red Cross. Harkness said the Red Cross should be the first point of contact for those with flood damage. The Red Cross will provide a voucher to households ranked as having major damage. Those without vouchers may still fill out an application for relief at the Hebron PNB to be kept on file. The association will review the applications and determine its ability to help as the process continues.

“Because the fund is just getting started, at this time we don’t know how much we can help those who are in need,” said Harkness. “We’ll do our best.” He said those with Red Cross vouchers should staple them to the application available at the Hebron PNB.

Ironically, Harkness’ New Life Community Center could use some relief as well after floodwaters extensively damaged its baby pantry, resulting in the loss of many articles of clothing, furniture, and various baby supplies including recently purchased formula.

“ We could’ve lost much, much more,” said baby pantry volunteer Jennifer Shaffer, although the loss was significant. The flood damage has forced the baby pantry to relocate across the street from the New Life Community Center, in an open strip mall space next to the Hebron Meat Market. She said the baby pantry is closed now, but will reopen in its new location April 4.

Shaffer said when the storm hit she worried about the condition of the baby pantry before her own home because the need for it is so strong in the community. “We give out 80 cans of formula per month,” she said. “It’s a need all month long.” Shaffer said people need the pantry’s help now worse than ever. “Donations would be fabulous,” she said.

Mason said the Hebron Kroger has donation boxes available that when filled, Kroger will transport them to the baby pantry.

Harkness said the Hebron Fire Department has “flood buckets” available with cleaning supplies for flood victims while the supply lasts. “People have been really good about bringing donations,” he said. “It’s been wonderful.

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