Church offering aid to neighbors

April 25, 2011 10:45:38 AM PDT
A church in Sanford has become a clearing house for relief supplies in Lee County, but not many people know about it.Kendale Acres Freewill Baptist Church on Cemetery Road was relatively unscathed by last Saturday's tornados, except for a broken steeple, but it is surrounded by tornado damaged homes.

"It's almost as if God said 'Look, we need something here,'" Pastor Doug Western said. "We've had some damage that we need to fix, but nothing stops us from what we need to do right now."

The pastor, with the help of about two dozen others, has been distributing food and supplies to tornado survivors since last week.

"We've got cleanup supplies, we've got water, we've got Gatorade," Western said. "We've been delivering sandwiches throughout the community here to both the workers and the victims who have come back to do the work."

And on Easter Sunday, the church brought smiles to some young faces with baskets of goodies.

"We had a family that came in to get some clothes and stuff and we were able to give their two young girls and Easter basket, and they just sat on the floor and started tearing into it," Western said. "All of us stood around crying, just watching them."

Western is helping people like Michelle Singletary who can't return to the home she rented since it no longer has a roof.

"And my landlord has informed us while repairs are done to the roof, we'll have to find some temporary living arrangements somewhere else," she said.

However, Singletary says her landlord was able to negotiate two additional nights at the hotel where the Red Cross arranged shelter for her and her family, while she waits to hear from FEMA.

In the meantime, the church says it has plenty of donated clothes, but what they really needs now is drinks and non-perishable food.

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