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Votes

Multiple Efforts To Aid Evacuees

Reston Interfaith, Town, HHS help hurricane survivors.

In response to Hurricane Katrina, the Town of Herndon and Reston Interfaith have coordinated times and ways for Herndon and Reston residents to help the relief efforts.

Reston Interfaith, a nonprofit organization comprising Herndon and Reston area churches, is working with Fairfax County through Fairfax Cares, the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other local nonprofit organizations.

Members of the faith community, individuals and the housing industry have already offered assistance through temporary shelter, hosting or sponsoring families in temporary housing and helping with other services, according to Gail Roberts of Reston Interfaith. To help Fairfax County and relief agencies coordinate placements and related services, Roberts recommends residents register with Fairfax Cares or Reston Interfaith so the groups can know what resources are available in the community.

Register to offer services, or to receive information about ways to assist locally, by contacting Roberts at gail.roberts@restointerfaith.org, or 571-323-9560 or by visiting www.fxfc.org.

RECENTLY RELOCATED evacuees should register with American Red Cross to receive information about cash benefits or other assistance immediately. Locally the Red Cross can be reached at 703-584-8700, or www.redcrossnca.org, and nationally at 1-800-HELP-NOW.

Evacuees are also encouraged to register with FEMA's disaster assessment program, according to a release from Reston Interfaith. By registering with FEMA, an evaluation will be conducted of any property damage and an estimation of potential relief will be given. Contact 1-800-621-FEMA or www.fema.gov for more information.

For local assistance, Reston Interfaith recommends residents contact the Fairfax County Human Services hotline at 703-222-0880 for referrals.

Other local agencies to call for resources or referrals include:

* Fairfax Families Cares for local government response and information, www.fxfc.org;

* Reston Interfaith for food and other referrals, 703-787-3100 or www.restoninterfaith.org;

* Wal-Mart Pharmacy for filling prescriptions for Katrina evacuees up to seven days free of charge as well as physician referrals and current prescriptions;

* Davita Dialysis Corporation will provide dialysis for those in urgent need, contact Becca Byer at 571-338-1862.

FOR RESIDENTS wishing to offer assistance, Reston Interfaith recommends donating money, volunteer services or food and clothing contributions through the following organizations:

* American Red Cross, 1-800-HELP-NOW, www.redcross.org;

* Katrina Open Arms Fund, www.cfncr.org;

* D.C. Armory Hotline to Volunteer, 202-727-1000, or disaster call center, 301-456-8800;

* Volunteer Fairfax for local relief volunteers, www.volunteerfairfax.org;

* Or conduct a food drive for Reston Interfaith or other local food pantries.

Herndon High School also plans to combine the funds raised by the school groups and will make one large donation to the Red Cross. Several groups in the school are already planning efforts, including, the Key Club/ SGA is running an in-school penny competition, Boys Basketball is planning a tournament for Saturday, Oct. 1, Keyettes and several faculty members are sponsoring a "Stuff a Backpack or Duffle Bag” contest which will end Sept. 16. They will collect donations to be delivered to the Red Cross in Monroe, La. The original plan to take them to the D.C. Armory is no longer needed because so many donations have already been received.

Fairfax County has also created "Fairfax Families Care" — a non-profit dedicated solely to Hurricane Katrina relief. This group's major fund-raiser, the Katrina Aid show, will benefit families who have come to the region after having been displaced by the hurricane. Produced by the Cappies, Katrina Aid will be an all-student all-star showcase of performers from 23 high schools in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

The Katrina Aid show will be at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, at Hayfield Secondary School, 7630 Telegraph Road in Alexandria. Admission is by donation of $10. A donor ticket is $25, and a sponsor ticket is $50. Larger donations are also welcome. For tickets, call 703-924-4759, or order through the Cappies Web site, www.cappies.com.

THE HERNDON POLICE have set up various collection spots in town to collect various goods for refugees. The collections will be for Baton Rouge, La. and Little Rock, Ark. and will run until Thursday, Sept. 15.

Drop off locations and times include:

* Herndon Police Station, 397 Herndon Parkway, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.;

* Greenberry's Coffee and Tea, 11790 Baron Cameron Ave #A in Reston, open all week until 8 p.m.

* Don Beyer Volvo-Dulles, 21830 Pacific Blvd in Sterling, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Items needed include: "pop top" items of complete meals including soup or Spaghetti-O's, fruit cups, granola bars, bottled water, bottled sports drinks, fruit juices, cookies, crackers, chips, candy bars, small boxes of dry cereal, canned vegetables — beans, carrots, peas, etc., dried beans, canned meats, rice, pasta, peanut butter, baby food, soap, antibacterial sanitizer, wipes, shampoo — individual size, toothpaste, toothbrushes, blankets, pillows, towels, diapers, formula, small blankets, crayons, paper and other school supplies, adult diapers, deodorant, disposable razors, shaving cream, feminine hygiene products and nutritional supplements including vitamins.

For more information contact Jennifer at 703-736-8949, www.DullesAreaDemocrats.org.

For residents dropping off donations, consider pre-sorting and boxing items in advance to help volunteers.

Volunteers are still needed to help sort food items, package and loading and unloading goods for Thursday, Sept. 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Herndon Police Station.

Transportation assistance is also needed for the food banks using rented trucks. Volunteers are needed in advance to sort and load the trucks as well as financial donations to assist with gas and lodging for volunteers who will be making the deliveries. Contact Herndon Police Officer Denise Randles at 703-435-6846 for more information about volunteering with the food banks.