Are you or your school, business, service club or place of worship doing something to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina? If so, please send us an e-mail with the details to email@example.com.
A Letter From the
Leesburg Police Chief
Many of you have read articles or seen television reports about the response in Leesburg to an extended family of evacuees from New Orleans. The devastation from Hurricane Katrina has truly been an event that has touched all of us. And while many pundits are looking to place blame, the employees of the Leesburg Police Department, Leesburg businesses, the Leesburg Town Council and many residents of our community have done something to ease the pain and suffering of at least one group of evacuees.
An extended family of 27, with children ranging from 10 months to 15 years, found their way to Leesburg after escaping the flooding in New Orleans. On their arrival, the manager at the Leesburg Holiday Inn contacted the police to see if help could be attained for this family. The officers and dispatchers who were working that day set about to do everything they could to help this family. They dug into their own pockets and solicited donations from several businesses in town.
As the officers took the family shopping, word spread through the stores. Employees, patrons and citizens on the street came up to the officers and gave them donations to help the family. Some were small and some were quite large, but all were given for the same reason: What can I do to help this family? The Leesburg Town Council authorized an emergency payment to cover the cost of clothing for the family.
While I am proud beyond words of the staff of the Leesburg Police Department, I am equally proud of our community. No one was worried about tax breaks or credit; they just saw people in need and wanted to do everything possible to help them.
Our community is made up of many things -- historic buildings, stately homes, shopping and people, people who believe in helping their neighbor in times of need, even if that neighbor is from a location thousands of miles away. I am proud to be a member of the Leesburg Police Department and a member of the Leesburg community.
Joseph R. Price
Leesburg police chief
The Loudoun Foundation, which puts on the Loudoun Summer Music Fest to raise money for three charities, is sending food, doctors, and medical and other supplies to Louisiana.
A caravan of four trailers, an RV and 10 volunteers was scheduled to leave last night from Dulles Town Center, where the foundation had been collecting donations for several days. The trailers will be filled with medical supplies donated by the Loudoun Medical Group and about 700 backpacks full of activities for children. One of the trailers will contain a mobile exam room.
Nine doctors, nurses and medical assistants from the Loudoun Medical Group are scheduled to meet up with the trailers tomorrow. Their airfare was provided by Independence Air. Replacement volunteers will be sent every week as long as there is a need, said Tracey Parent, who founded the Loudoun Foundation.
The volunteers will head into such areas as Slidell and Mobile, La., which have been hit hard, but will go wherever they are needed, Parent said. "We've got everything set up so that we can literally go into a bayou and run a hospital," she said.
The project is prepared to treat 300 to 400 patients a day and provide resources for four weeks. The total cost of the trailers, maintenance and supplies is $52,000.
Donations can be made by cash, check or credit card. Checks should be made payable to the Loudoun Foundation and sent to: Tracey Parent, President, Loudoun Foundation, 420 Crosman Ct., Purcellville, Va. 20132. Write "Hurricane Katrina deploy costs" at the bottom of the check. All contributions are tax-deductible. For information, visit www.virginiacares.org.
Roman Catholics in the 67 parishes of the Diocese of Arlington, which includes Loudoun County, can contribute to hurricane relief efforts through a second collection at all Masses next weekend or on another weekend chosen by the parish. The funds will assist Catholic Charities USA on the Gulf Coast.
The diocese contributed more than $4 million -- through a special second collection, school fundraisers and private donations -- to Catholic Relief Services' tsunami relief. Of that amount, $1.8 million was taken up in a Jan. 15-16 special collection, the largest in the diocese's 30-year history.
School Bake Sale
The parents organization at Lowes Island Elementary School will hold a bake sale tomorrow and Tuesday from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at the cafeteria entrance to the school at 20755 Whitewater Dr. in Sterling. Donations will be accepted, and proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. For more information, call 703-444-7535.
The missions committee at Harmony United Methodist Church, 380 E. Colonial Hwy., Hamilton, will hold a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday to raise money for hurricane victims. Donations will be accepted at the door. For more information, call 540-338-2937.
St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, 37018 Glendale St. in Purcellville, will hold a fundraiser dinner and bake sale from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. next Sunday. Proceeds will go to Samaritan's Purse International Relief (www.samaritanspurse.org), which provides volunteers to rebuild and repair homes and distributes water, food and bedding. Local bluegrass musicians will perform. For more information, call 540-338-7307 or visit www.stpetes.net/katrinadinner.html.
Parks Group Collection
The National Recreation and Park Association, based in Ashburn, is collecting donations of cash, equipment and in-kind assistance. The donations will be used for temporary housing, food, water and utilities for parks and recreation professionals; clean-up campaigns; recreation relief efforts; damage assessment; and rebuilding and restoration.
For information, write the National Recreation and Park Association at NRPA -- Hurricane Katrina, 22377 Belmont Ridge Rd., Ashburn, Va. 20148, call 703-858-0784, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nrpa.org.
-- Compiled by ARIANNE ARYANPUR and LESLIE SHEPHERD