Residents of the Fairfax area are contributing to hurricane relief efforts in various ways. Here are some that we know about. If you or your school, business, service club or place of worship is doing something to help, send an e-mail with the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several organizations and individuals are collecting items to donate to victims of Hurricane Katrina:
* The Falls Church school system is accepting donations of personal care items. The schools plan to give two surplus classroom trailers to West Baton Rouge Parish public schools and would like to fill them with supplies such as shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, lotion, cotton swabs, shaving cream, razors, combs, brushes, hair oil, feminine hygiene products, diapers for children or adults, toilet paper and new undergarments for men and women.
Items can be dropped off at any Falls Church city school, the system's central office at 803 W. Broad St., or the Giant Food store at Haycock Road and Leesburg Pike (Route 7). The first shipment is scheduled to be sent by the middle of the month.
* Westwood Baptist Church of Springfield is collecting personal care items and over-the-counter medical supplies from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.
In addition, the church is asking for construction tools, which can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday this month.
Personal care items needed include plastic bandages, deodorant, bar soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, antibiotic ointment, adhesive tape, gauze, diapers and baby food. Construction items needed include tar paper; 16-penny, eight-penny and roofing nails; pry bars; claw hammers; nail aprons; work gloves; leaf and yard rakes; flat-ended shovels; tarps; and circular saws.
A complete list of specific items is available at www.westwood-baptist.org or by calling 703-451-5120. Westwood is collecting the supplies in partnership with CrossLink International. The church is at 8200 Old Keene Mill Rd.
Schools, City Raise Funds
Several groups continue to collect money through fundraisers:
* The W.T. Woodson High School orchestra washed cars Sept. 24 and raised $1,593.
* Fairhill Elementary in Fairfax held a movie night Sept. 23. The school of 500 students raised a little over $6,000.
* The Fairfax City government has donated $25,000 to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and has collected $1,800 from residents for the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.
In addition, the city has pledged to match hurricane relief contributions of up to $50 each by city employees to nonprofit organizations. The city's police association has joined with 17 other local law enforcement associations to donate funds for law enforcement personnel and their families affected by the hurricane.
Fairfax County residents who believe they could be victims of price-gouging as a result of Hurricane Rita should send complaints to the county's Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection.
To file a complaint, residents need to complete a form from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Forms can be downloaded online at www.vdacs.virginia.gov/consumers/oca-form.html or can be obtained by calling 800-552-9963.
Completed complaint forms can be e-mailed to email@example.com or mailed to the Fairfax County Department of Cable Communications and Consumer Protection, 12000 Government Center Pkwy., Suite 443, Fairfax, Va. 22035. They should be marked "Attention: price-gouging."
In Virginia it is illegal to charge "unconscionable" prices for 30 days after a declared state of emergency for necessary goods and services, including items such as water, food, ice, gasoline, batteries, generators and building materials.
-- DIANE MATTINGLY and STEPHEN C. FEHR