Buses Send Aid to Storm Victims

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

September 6, 2005

We brought you the story yesterday of a group of strangers adopting a town in Mississippi. Here is the story of how much the group is actually bringing with them.

Two buses and one rental truck left for Diamond Head, MS to deliver over 20,000 pounds of water, food, clothes, medical supplies and more, but what they are bringing back may be even more astonishing.

People will fill the seats when the buses return. People who's homes and lives have been destroyed by the hurricane.

"We've got about 12 secured homes in Charlottesville for about six months--all utilities included, and we've got people furnishing them," said organizer Kimberly Kuttner.

Virginia Neurocare is donating the bottom apartment of a house--fully furnished--to one family. And they are even helping them find jobs.

"It feels pretty good. You know it's a small contribution, but we feel every little bit helps and it's what we can do," said Don Nidiffer of Virginia Neurocare.

Volunteers poured out to donate, working over 1,200 hours. Businesses gave over $5,000 worth of fuel and cash donations reached $13,000.

On board are mechanics, drivers, health professionals, followed by two Albemarle Deputies with the help of the federal government.

"They made arrangements for my two deputies to be deputized--Deputy of the United States Marshals so they're really federal officers now," said Sheriff Ed Robb of Albemarle County.

Diamond Head is a retirement community of 5,000 just northeast of New Orleans. The buses can seat 30 and organizers say they hope the first bus will return Saturday morning.

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