09/07/05 — Relief effort planned in city for Katrina victims

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Relief effort planned in city for Katrina victims

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on September 7, 2005 1:47 PM

Goldsboro City Council members made an open plea to city residents Monday night to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina in any way possible.

At their meeting, council members recommended a collaborative effort by city leaders and residents to develop a plan for making a substantial contribution to the American Red Cross and other organizations involved in recovery efforts.

Mayor Al King noted that while he was in the Air Force he was stationed in Mississippi. His memories of the people there have added special poignancy to the suffering he has seen on television.

"I lived in Biloxi for two years and still have friends there," said King. "We need to do whatever we can."

Representatives from the Red Cross and the Marion Edwards Recovery Center Initiatives (MERCI) spoke to council members and suggested that there are three ways that city residents can get involved: donating time, money and blood.

Council members emphasized that if every citizen did all he could, Goldsboro could make a huge impact on relief efforts. Currently, the Red Cross is seeking 40,000 volunteers to help in efforts to raise blood and money and help clean up areas that are slowly recovering from storm damage and flooding.

Chuck Waller, the executive director of the Wayne County chapter of the Red Cross, challenged members of the Goldsboro community to make an impact. He reminded them of 1999 and Hurricane Floyd.

"Remember where you were six years ago," he said. "It's going to take everybody in this country to make things right again."

Those who wish to donate their time, money and blood can contact the Red Cross or MERCI Ministries.

St. Luke Methodist Church at 1609 E. Pine St. is accepting donations of non-perishable goods that will be turned over to MERCI officials to be distributed.

Mayor King said he believes Goldsboro can rise to the occasion and help flood victims the same way people from other states helped eastern North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Floyd.

"Anything you can do," the mayor said.