Calhoun folks have an opportunity this week to give a helping hand to hurricane victims in Mississippi.

County Clerk Richard Kirby said the response in the community has been positive.

Calhoun's commissioners and other volunteers will be going south Wednesday night with "Operation Neighbor."

The commission meets this morning to pass a flood relief resolution and decide what kind of assistance can be given to the upper West Fork region, which was struck by a flash flood about a week ago.

The area will apparently not qualify for federal flood relief services.

President Larry McCallister indicated the commission is looking at trying to help the Upper West Fork Park which lost their appliances, and the possibility of obtaining dumpsters for debris removal.

It is also a mission to "aid our southern neighbors and see that our cash, food and products get directly to those in need," said Kirby.

Citizens are being asked to donate canned and dried food items today at the Grantsville and Arnoldsburg volunteer fire departments from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Other items have been added to the list.

Southern Baptist Missions in Atlanta, Georgia have linked Calhoun's mission with the Ellisville United Methodist Church in Ellisville, Mississippi.

Kirby said this is a multi-denominational effort to directly help those who are suffering.

The greater Ellisville area was struck by Katrina with category 3 wind, and church officials say the area remains in a "desperate state."

The Ellisville church is acting as a distribution center for all churches in the area.

Ellisville is approximately 100 miles northeast of New Orleans, and the area was first opened Saturday and some aid is beginning to arrive.

Church officials said the only assistance to the area has been from private citizens, and they are eagerly awaiting relief items.

Items added to the "needs list" include bug spray, paper products, baby diapers, formula, adult diapers, and of course non-perishable food and bottled water.

Cash donations may be delivered to the County Clerk's office.

All donations will become part of the county's annual audit.

Donations can be mailed to Operation Neighbor, P. O. Box 239, Grantsville, 26147. Checks should be made to Calhoun County Commission.

The commission will be passing this resolution:

"We, the Calhoun County Commission, representing the people of Calhoun County, West Virginia, hereby recognize the overwhelming pain, death and destruction of our fellow Americans in Louisiana, Mississippi and the south, and see a clear need as their neighbors to reach out to them in their time of need."

"We also see a need to reach out to people in the upper West Fork region of Calhoun County who have experienced a flash flood."

"The Calhoun Commission will be directing the relief effort, including the contributing of taxpayer resources to this effort and see it gets done."

Information regarding the relief effort, call Richard Kirby 354-6725 (or)354-6638; Bob Weaver 354-6183; Rick Sampson 354-6307; Larry McCallister 354-6894.


A website - www.katrinahousing.org - approved by the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Dept. of Homeland Security - to which folks with an extra house, rental, or even shared available housing, can post their information for Katrina evacuees.

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