Dream Center, local church house Harvey relief efforts
The Spencer Dream Center was one of multiple drop points in northwest Iowa for a variety of supplies destined for a Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Texas, as part of the local Hurricane Harvey relief effort. The supplies were loaded into a truck trailer and driven to Sutherland, where at least three semitrucks holding approximately 40,000 pieces of clothing, food, water and other supplies waited.
"My cousin Randy (Lange) had a wild idea one evening while we were chatting and it just blew up. It was supposed to be one truck, two guys and now it is three or four semitrailer loads plus two or three pickup loads," John Guthriege, one of the relief drivers, said.
Guthriege drove the trailer to the supply pickup at the Dream Center and then moved on to People For Pets.
Another collection site, Living Word Outreach Ministries, began collecting an overload of goods on Friday. The churches entry was loaded with a steady stream of donated items.
“This will be a great blessing,” said Rev. Al Dean, pastor at Living Word Outreach Ministries. “People are coming out of the woodwork. We’re really pleased.”
Vicky Syndergaard and Angel Haverkorn were sorting the goods at LWOM Friday. It was Syndergaard who got the local church involved.
“Our community is amazing,” she said. “They just keep coming and dropping things off.”
The items accumulated at all three sites included clothes, bottled water, toilet paper, paper towels, personal hygiene items, ready to prepare meals, canned foods, cleaning supplies and even toys for children.
"I asked God to give us a way to help outside of prayer because we are in Iowa and not close to Texas it is a little bit different," relief effort organizer Shnicka Heal said. Heal worked to help coordinate the Dream Center drop point.
“Literally, that night I had gotten a message from another lady that there was a truck and it would be in Sutherland. That next day I got a message from Megan (Hanges) that they would be more than happy to help."
"We do this to be the hands and feet of Jesus. That's what the Dream Center is. We want to help people who may not be able to help themselves in certain situations," Dream Center Director of Programs Megan Hanges said. "Whether it is through the Red Cross, whether it is sending relief to Houston, whether it is here in our area. Anything we can do to help somebody get a leg up, that's what we want to do."
The relief effort will also be sending prom and wedding dresses to Texas so that high school students who have homecoming will have outfits to wear.
"This is really the community coming together to help another community in need," Hanges said.
Guthriege said the best way to help is to donate items to your local church because because a good samaritan may be taken advantage of if they try to send money directly.
Both the Dream Center and LWOM indicated that they would continue to serve as drop off points locally for future trips to assist those impacted in Southern states.