Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

May 28, 2013

Response big for local relief drives — The actual recovery time for those impacted by tornadoes that struck a little over a week ago is one that will be measured in no less than months, but it has taken no time at all for the calls for help to surpass even the most ambitious expectations.

The evidence is pouring in from communities far beyond the state borders, so much so that Main Street Pauls Valley’s drive to collect items for relief became storage over the Memorial Day weekend, according to MSPV Director Samantha Robb.

The level of help going to communities like Moore resulted in a few days reprieve as distribution points like Norman began to run out of places to keep supplies and shows how much heart can be found right here in Garvin County.

“It always makes you feel good when your community steps up,” said Robb. “It shows a lot of care, a lot of heart.”

Over the first few days the Main Street office located at the corner of Walnut and Paul streets started collecting items from bottled water to snacks; there have been several trips made by residents volunteering their gas and vehicles like trucks to make the round trip drives, said Robb.

Complimenting donations brought in by individuals one at a time, EMTs with Pauls Valley General Hospital’s ambulance services have also spent a couple of days alerting shoppers out at Wal-Mart of the needs before packing their vehicles full and returning to Main Street multiple times.

“Wal-Mart’s about sold out of items we’re requesting,” said Robb, also thanking people who have brought in some items that think outside the norm like plastic storage bins with several potential uses for families in need.

“That shows a lot of people going in support of what we’re doing.”

However, the one thing that has amazed Robb almost more than anything else is how she has not had to make any calls for people to show up at the very moment when she needed them. She has a lot of thanks to give to those drivers, people helping her organize supplies along the walls and most recently the donation of a covered trailer to use until the drive ends.

People can also contribute to the cause by donating gift cards that can be used at gas pumps so volunteer drivers can be reimbursed for their trips, said Robb.

Donations of basic necessities will still be needed in the coming weeks and people can still drop off what they can until further notice.

“I haven’t really had to ask for help,” said Robb, noting how areas like Little Axe are an example of where there is still a need for volunteers as well as supplies. “People are just instinctively responding.”

For more information or questions for Main Street they can be contacted at 405-238-2555 or by going to their facebook page or to online.

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