Local Help A Calm In Eye Of The Storm

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Devastation and despair flash before our eyes from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The images are almost unbelievable and many of us feel a burning desire to help. Our children and grandchildren feel it, too.

For some, writing a check to assist emergency relief agencies is the fastest and most convenient way to send help; others prefer raising funds or collecting supplies.

Listed below are some of the fund-raisers under way in our community.

If your organization, church or business has launched additional efforts, please send us a note so we can inform our readers. You can e-mail notices to editor@payson.com, or mail them to P.O. Box 2520, Payson, AZ, 85547. We will also post them on our website at payson.com.

We appreciate the kindness we see coming from Rim Country residents whose hearts have been touched and who are reaching out with compassion.

How to help

Donations to the American Red Cross can be made online to the Disaster Relief Fund at www.redcross.org, or by calling (800) HELP NOW (435-7669).

Compass Bank issued a challenge grant of up to $250,000 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Donations coming in to Compass Bank will be matched, up to the maximum amount. Donations via check or money order should be made payable to the American Red Cross and will be accepted at any Compass Bank branch through Oct. 1.

Creekside Steakhouse in Christopher Creek will donate the proceeds from all biscuit and gravy orders Saturday Sept. 3 through Monday, Sept. 5 to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Hours are 7 a.m. to noon.

Life Star Ambulance is sponsoring a one-week clothing drive to help Katrina flood victims. From Friday, Sept. 2 through Friday, Sept. 9 Life Star will collect clothing to send to the devastated areas. Children's and adult clothing should be bagged separately and dropped off at one of the following collection locations: Christopher Creek Fire Department, Diamond Star Fire Department, Life Star Ambulance, Mazatzal Casino, Payson Fire Department, Payson Police Department, Pine-Strawberry Fire Department or Wal-Mart.

Manzanita Adventure Sports is raffling a bicycle and hosting a bake sale from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. today; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday. All proceeds will go to Katrina relief efforts (see page 1 story).

St. Philip's Catholic Church -- and all churches in the Tucson diocese -- will take a special collection this weekend to provide assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Wal-Mart has committed $15 million dollars to aid emergency relief efforts and is collecting donations at its Payson store.

Volunteer

The Phoenix office of the American Red Cross desperately needs volunteers to help answer phones. The center has been flooded with calls and seeks to double its usual number of volunteers. To help, call (800) 842-7349 and get added to the schedule. Do not just show up.

The local Red Cross is planning a new volunteer orientation and informational session at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6 in the training room of the Payson Police Department.

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