Monday, April 12, 1999

Red Cross receives surplus of assistance


Some donations, workers unused

BY DANA DiFILIPPO
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[tornado]
Donated food and home essentials began appearing on street corners of the devistated area in Sycamore Twp. Cincinnati Enquirer/Michael E. Keating
| ZOOM |
        At Sycamore Junior High School, where volunteers made bag lunches for storm victims and relief workers Saturday, the donations were overwhelming.

        Bottled water sat stacked 6 feet wide, dozens of uneaten pizzas ended up in the trash bin, and organizers turned away eager volunteers because there wasn't enough work to do. Many other volunteers could not get through to the affected areas.

        Police have restricted access to Montgomery Woods, Fallsington Grant, Pemmican Run, Village Brooke and other affected neighborhoods to residents, media, and emergency and construction crews.

        By Sunday, the Red Cross stopped accepting contributions except cash. The agency had more than 500 volunteers show up to help this week, said spokeswoman Karri Hemmig.

        Sunday, relief organizers allowed some volunteers into the neighborhoods with food and beverages for cleanup crews and residents. Other volunteers bypassed protocol and showed up unannounced to help.

        “I imagine a relief effort like this would be very hard to get organized,” said Jeff Schlager, 37, of Harper's Point, who brought several of his neighbors to clean up properties near the devastated Marlette Drive. “But if you want to help, you can find a way. We took a chance and came out, and they welcomed us.”

       



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