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ACT group collecting items for Houston area

By CARY ASHBY and JOE CENTERS • Aug 31, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Local volunteers are hoping to fill a semi truck with water, non-perishable food and cleaning supplies to ship to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Volunteers with Answering the Call Together, Inc. (ACT) have a truck parked on Page Street near the St. Paul bus garage. Organizers are hoping to fill the truck and get it on its way by Saturday.

You can donate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

“I’m just working with Jim Wasiniak,” organizer John Riley said. “We are trying to get a truckload of supplies to the Houston area. We stationed things here at St. Paul to try to get this truck loaded up in a couple of days and ship it down there.”

ACT Executive Director Dave Wallace and three volunteers also are taking a food truck to the Houston area to feed people.

“We are looking for all kinds of household items, water (and) food that is non-perishable. We are looking for diapers. We are looking for anything you think they can use down there right now,” Riley said.

The crew is on a tight schedule.

“We’ve got the truck scheduled to leave Saturday morning,” Riley said. “Dave Wallace is on his way down there with three other fellas and they are setting up a kitchen to (serve) hot dogs and hamburgers to help people.

“This is the back-up crew. We’re just trying to go the next step.”

Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan witnessed about 10 pickup trucks dropping off donations this week. He told city council he is pleased with the generosity of the community.

“I was overwhelmed to to watch the outpouring,” Duncan said.

Council president Steve Euton agreed, saying the Norwalk community is one that is quick to respond to other’s needs.

“It’s the people who make the difference,” he added.

Wallace, a councilman who represents the second ward, said having so many donations arrive in such a short time is a testament to the people in the Norwalk area. The ACT executive director also said it made him proud to live in the Maple City.

“The support from our community has been humbling, to say the least. I can’t say enough about the people in our town,” Wallace said.

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