- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, New Hope Family Worship Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., was collecting water and blankets to hand out to those in need.
The Rev. Mike Hilson of New Life Church in La Plata, a sister church of New Hope, and others sent out a text blast Saturday morning.
Essentially, he said, it was a plea for anyone who could donate bottled water and blankets to drop off the items between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at New Life in La Plata.
Volunteers would fill as many pickups as they could, head to New York and deliver the supplies before turning around and heading home.
“We want to stay out of the way,” Hilson said.
The text went out to the hundreds of subscribers who use the service to keep up with schedule changes at New Life.
Hilson also put it on his Facebook page and tweeted the information.
A few parishioners would surely come through, he figured.
The response was overwhelming; cases of water and bundles of blankets were dropped off.
“Southern Maryland is awesome,” Hilson said.
By noon, there were enough cases of bottled water to fill three trailers and three pickups, and then a bigger trailer from Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department Station 3 EMS showed up and was filled, too.
One woman had 16 cases crammed into her compact car, Hilson said.
People dropping off blankets said it was “the least we can do,” for those hardest hit by the superstorm that swept the East Coast last week.
Others volunteered to drive to New York, donating use of their trailers to haul the load.
Volunteers formed a line, dubbed the “bottle brigade,” handing off cases of water down the line to load them into a waiting trailer.
“More people need water in New York,” said volunteer Christopher Rodriguez, 12, of Waldorf. “It’s just better to help them.”
Six people delivered the estimated 2,000 cases of water and 1,000 blankets to the New York church, finishing up around midnight and arriving home around 6 Sunday morning.
“We have some of the most generous and awesome people,” Hilson said of those who donated and volunteered.