Residents rally to help
In just three days, more than $2,000 in cash and enough supplies to fill a 12x6x6 trailer were collected.
Ginny and Harry Shaw led the charge, putting out a Facebook “event,” and the story was posted on the South Jetty Web site on Wednesday, Sept. 7. By Friday afternoon, Sept. 9, the call was put out for a large U-Haul type truck to take the supplies to Central Texas.
A donor provided funding to pay for a rental truck, which ultimately was donated by Bale Fernandez, the manager of a U-Haul store in Corpus Christi. Some of the cash was used to pay for gas for the truck.
The Shaws and Tricia Tedrow, interim pastor at Community Presbyterian Church, loaded the truck Friday night, and the Shaws took off for Central Texas.
The drive was originally intended for those whose homes in Bastrop were destroyed by the wildfire that started on Sunday, Sept. 4.
But, upon arrival in Bastrop, the Shaws learned that used clothing was not being accepted. Since everything had been sorted and boxed (Harry Shaw’s military background came into play on that score), they left the cash in Bastrop and headed for Spicewood.
There, they found that there was no outside relief organization helping those folks, so the boxes of clothing, food, diapers, toiletries, water and bedding were unloaded.
When the trailer was opened, the Spicewood folks accepting donations were “gob smacked – that’s an English term,” Harry Shaw explained. (His wife is English.)
The Spicewood folks slapped their foreheads and, in true Texas fashion said, “Holy smoke!” when they saw the packed trailer, he said.
In the load was a box marked “Candy,” and two helpful youngsters personally escorted that off, Shaw said.
In Spicewood, Shaw said he was struck by the people’s will to help. “I like it that people were ready to step in and do things rather than wait for a handout,” he said.
Some of the Spicewood residents’ homes were paid for, and they’d let their insurance lapse.
“They literally lost everything,” Shaw said.
When the Shaws returned to Port Aransas from making the delivery on Monday afternoon, Sept. 12, they had a message from the Family Center IGA saying they had three full grocery carts for the drive. Harry Shaw said he might be making another trip to the fire-ravaged area.
Now, instead of clothing, clean up tools, such as shovels, rakes and gloves are needed.
Cash to purchase those items may be sent to Spicewood or Bastrop.
Checks should be made out to the Bastrop County Ministerial Alliance (BCMA), P.O. Box 876, Bastrop, TX 78602, or to Grace Outreach Fellowship, 20808 #A Hwy. 71 West, Spicewood, TX, 78669, with the notation “Spicewood Fire” on the memo line.
Shaw credited his wife for the success of the Port Aransas effort.
“Ginny was the brains behind it,” he said.
He also credited Shirlene Burroughs and Debbie LaBlanc for their daily assistance during the drive at the Pollock Center. Shaw said about eight to 10 other people helped at one time or another.
“Here it is 10 years from 9/11, and we’re doing this,” he mused.
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