St. Mary's Hurricane Relief Fund Recognized by Commissioners, Senators, and D'Iberville

 Joe St. Clair of St. Mary's Hurricane Relief Fund Receives Proclamation From Commissioners                                        The Bay Net Photos by Anna Bedford
On Thursday, members of St. Mary’s who had donated to and assisted the St. Mary’s Hurricane Relief Fund were invited to a reception in recognition and thanks for their efforts. The children of D’Iberville, Mississippi, ranging in age from 5 to 11 sent Christmas cards and notes of gratitude which were displayed at the event and offered to those who had sponsored each child. Of 1,100 boxes that were distributed to community members to fill with clothing, necessities, and gifts for each child in D’Iberville, only two boxes were not returned, and those two children were taken care of by the Hurricane Relief Fund organizers.

 Lexington Park Junior Girl Scouts with their card from Stephanie
The Lexington Park Junior Girl Scouts, Group 5494, were present with their leader, Jackie Childers, and found a card from a girl named Samantha, who they had sponsored and remain in correspondence with. “It really cut a cord with these girls,” said Ms. Childers.  

Joe St. Clair, one of the group’s founders, read from a letter sent by a principal of a D’Iberville school. “We could never have imagined that on August 29 our lives would be turned around and we would find a community of angels,” she wrote. “It’s nice to know we have not been forgotten.”

“For those who believe the world has become a terrible place, they need to come to D’Iberville Mississippi and see the giving and love of total strangers,” she said, writing about the St. Mary’s community who send assistance to the area affected by Hurricane Katrina, which is a similar size to St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s Ryken sent 198 book bags filled with supplies to the school children, and many of the teachers at the Leonardtown school offered help when they found there were 79 children who needed clothing immediately. Members of the Student Leadership Committee at Ryken were commended for raising $2,000 for the relief effort.

Maryland Senator Roy Dyson announced that in Senate Resolution 342 the state senate voted unanimously to recognize the Hurricane Relief Fund for embodying the giving spirit of Maryland. “Our system of responding failed,” said Dyson, speaking about the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, which necessitated grass-roots organizing such as St. Mary’s Hurricane Relief Fund.

President of the County Commissioners, Tommy McKay, stressed the need to continue the efforts to help those in need. “What is most important,” he said Thursday, “is that we carry that effort forward. We can’t let it die here. There are lots of homeless people in need in our own community. When we cleared the woods for Lexington Park Fire Department the number of homeless people uncovered was enormous. We need to keep making St. Mary’s County the mother county for all the right reasons.”

On behalf of the county

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