Berks

In Irma's wake, hurricane relief efforts double in Berks

In Irma's wake, hurricane relief...

WYOMISSING, Pa. - Adrian Grieve, the executive director of the American Red Cross' tri-county chapter, has been in the path of now-Tropical Storm Irma. He made the trip from Berks County to Columbia, South Carolina, last week.

"We are hearing wind gusts. We are looking out at the trees swaying pretty heavily," Grieve told 69 News on Monday. "The clouds are just flying past.

"I guess disaster just got into my blood," Grieve continued. "I just really enjoy coming out, helping people. I enjoy supporting the folks on the ground, the Red Cross volunteers. The ones to me that are the real heroes are the volunteers."

Grieve is just part of the relief effort from Berks County. Immanuel United Church of Christ and Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery have teamed up to collect and put together hygiene kits for victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma; basics, like combs, washcloths and toothbrushes.

Immanuel UCC is asking for these items specifically: 

  • ​One hand towel measuring approximately 15″ x 28″ to 16″ x 32″  
  • One washcloth  
  • One wide-tooth comb removed from the package 
  • One fingernail or toenail clipper removed from the package 
  • One bath-size bar of soap in the wrapper 
  • One toothbrush in the package 
  • Ten standard size Band-Aids

The church said the items need to fit into a one-gallon, clear, zipper-closure bag and to not add additional items. They said toothpaste will be added to the bags prior to their final journey.

You can drop off hygiene kits at the Immanuel UCC at 99 South Waverly Street in Shillington​ or at Wyomissing Restaurant and Bakery at 1245 Penn Avenue in Wyomissing. ​

"Making hygiene kits was a tangible way in which we could be a support to people and local folks could make a tangible contribution," said Immanuel UCC Pastor Megan Huesgen. "We know this is something we need. We know this will get into the hands of folks immediately. It won't be stored in a warehouse. It won't get ruined, it will be right there with the people who need it."

"Irma is personal for me," said Hamid Chaudhry, the owner of Wyomising Restaurant and Bakery. "My sister lives in Fort Lauderdale area, Pompano Beach, and it is personal."

Chaudhry and Huesgan -- a Muslim and a Christian -- uniting to help their fellow man.

"We practice our faiths differently, but our values are the same: to love God and love our neighbor." said Huesgan.


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