I just spoke with JoAnn down at the Owego Presbyterian Church and have the latest information about flood relief down there. Please feel free to pass this along as you see fit.
1. We here in the Southern Tier invite anyone to meet in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church of Elmira (1054 West Clinton St) a little before 9 a.m. on Saturday, October. 1. We will carpool and caravan to Owego from there. Please bring with you: your lunch and a filled water bottle for your use; your safety equipment such as goggles, masks, work and rubber gloves, ear plugs, and perhaps knee pads – also wear sturdy shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty; work equipment such as pry bars, sledge hammers, hammers, screw drivers, brooms, dust pans, buckets, cleaning brushes, mops, etc. If anyone has a shop vac, bring it along as shop vacs are useful. I am hearing that in some places it would be helpful to have some bug repellent on hand. It is always helpful to have hand sanitizer on hand.
2. The people at the Owego Presbyterian Church are organized and expecting us to show up Saturday morning. There will be houses where we can help clean out and clean up. If people want to go directly to the Owego church (because coming to Elmira first is out of the way), they may do so. The church is located at the corner of North Ave and Temple Street. It’s at the Owego Pres Church where we will get our assignments.
3. People have asked me about donating money. The Owego Pres Church has set up a Flood Relief Fund. Moneys can be sent there – First Presbyterian Union Church, P.O. Box 355, Owego, NY 13827.
4. A couple of people have asked me if there are things that children can do to help. In my opinion, because it is a disaster zone, it is not safe for children. But I have a suggestion of what children can do: The Baptist and Methodist church buildings are so damaged that those congregations cannot worship in their buildings — how about if children draw pictures or send messages to the children of those congregations? (Those can be sent in care of the Owego Pres Church.)
Having been down there last Saturday, what impressed me most was the fact that if church people (we Presbyterians, Salvation Army, a Southern Baptist disaster assistance group, Cornell Christian Fellowship, and a Disciples of God church) had not shown up last Saturday, basically there would have been no one down there helping. The need is huge.
If I get more information, I will pass it on. Blessings,
The Rev. Dr. Betsey Crimmins
First Presbyterian Church
1054 West Clinton Street
Elmira, NY 14904