Loudoun County has responded in various ways to help the hurricane victims.
Gold's Tae Kwon Do in Sterling decided Friday to organize a relief drive for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The drive took place Saturday morning, and by Monday the goods had already been distributed in Gulfport, Miss., and Baton Rouge, La.
The martial arts school collected 40 cases of bottled water, 12 cases of diapers, 17 trash bags full of clothes, 25 boxes of baby formula, medical supplies and food, and more than $800 in cash. The cash was used to buy a pallet of bottled water, more diapers, first-aid kits and power converters.
Matt Godek Rugby & Soccer Supply in Merrifield loaned a 12-foot trailer to help transport the donations, which were driven south by brothers Alan and Mike Courtemanche of Leesburg. Their 70-year-old mother and other relatives live in New Orleans but evacuated to Baton Rouge before the storm hit.
"We thought there would be tens of thousands of residents of neighboring states driving to the affected area with truck beds full of water and food, but that did not happen," said Alan Courtemanche, the senior instructor at Gold's Tae Kwon Do. "So we decided we would take anything we could with us to help everyone we could find."
The Loudoun Foundation will be collecting donations at the Dulles Town Center mall parking lot from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Saturday.
Critically needed items, according to the American Red Cross, are bottled water, Pedialyte, baby formula, nutritional supplement drinks, Gatorade, diapers, blankets, garbage bags, antibacterial soap, paper towels, toiletries, baby bottles and baby wipes.
The items will be sorted and packed by volunteers and shipped by JK Moving & Storage of Sterling. For more information, visit www.virginiacares.org.
The Leesburg Police Department and local businesses are helping an extended family of 27 people from New Orleans, including 10 children, ages 7 months to 15 years, who are living at the Holiday Inn Leesburg at Carradoc Hall on East Market Street in Leesburg.
Hotel sales manager LeighAnn Osgood contacted the Leesburg Wal-Mart, which donated clothes, toys, toiletries and shoes. Costco donated about $300 worth of diapers, baby wipes, laundry detergent and other items; Target gave $600 worth of goods; and Kohl's manager Jennifer Scrivo collected $250 from employees and customers and provided a variety of discounts to help the family replace lost clothing.
Leesburg residents Fran and Frank Kormann donated $1,700 and Leesburg police officers and dispatchers donated $300.
"The generosity and compassion shown by the community and members of the Police Department will ensure that this family can begin to make it through this tragedy" said Police Chief Joseph R. Price.
Vendors at the Leesburg Farmers Market will raffle a big basket of seasonal produce and other goods Saturday to raise money for hurricane victims. The suggested donation for tickets is $5 to $10, but all donations will be accepted, and proceeds will be given to the Disaster Relief Fund of the American Red Cross.
"More than most people, farmers understand living at the mercy of weather," said Steve Baker of Mount Jackson, Va., who sells pork at the market.
The market takes place from 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of the Virginia Village Shopping Center, on Catoctin Circle just east of South King Street.
First Baptist Church of Sterling and the Christian Music and Ministry Network are sponsoring a 24-hour donation drive and concert, starting at 7 p.m. Sept. 16. Christ in Action, a nonprofit organization based in Manassas, will be at the church, at 21449 Potomac View Rd., to collect money, clothing, food, Gatorade and water. There will be Christian entertainment, including choirs, speakers, praise dancers, step teams, comedy and food. For more information, call 703-432-3322 or 571-259-5424 or go to www.christinaction.com.
The Leesburg Police Department has told the Virginia Department of Emergency Management that it is willing to send officers to help in areas hit by the hurricane.
The Leesburg Town Council is encouraging residents who want to make donations to refer to the list of charities on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Web site, at www.fema.gov/press/2005/resources_katrina.shtm#donate.
Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) is calling for a special session of the Virginia House of Delegates to pass legislation that would suspend for one year the requirement that nonresidents pay tuition to attend Virginia's public schools.
This would allow children from Louisiana, Mississippi and other areas affected by Katrina to attend Virginia schools as if they were exchange students, Marshall said in a letter to Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) and House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford).
"Since it is estimated that it will be several years before many of these areas can be rebuilt, I believe that allowing these children to come to Virginia for school is just one of the many ways that we can reach out to those hardest hit by this terrible tragedy," he wrote.
-- Compiled by LESLIE SHEPHERD