Farmhouse and Red Cross team up to help hurricane victims

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 2, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-The Marengo County branch of the American Red Cross has teamed with a local restaurant to do their part in aiding victims of Hurricane Katrina. The restaurant has become a station to help gather funding for those in need for the Red Cross.

Gelean Wicks, who co-owns the Farmhouse with her husband Jim, said one of her employees approached her about helping victims and they decided to team with an organization to make a difference.

“Dawn asked me if we could do something to help with the relief effort and I told her certainly,” Wicks said. “We decided to see if there was an organization we could work through and she contacted Brenda Weaver with the American Red Cross and she was thrilled to have someone in Demopolis to help out.”

Email newsletter signup

Dawn Grant, who helped Wicks jumpstart the effort said they have been going strong for two days. She said at first, they didn’t know what they could do, but when she contacted Red Cross Coordinator Brenda Weaver, things fell into place.

“We just got started Wednesday and there is so much that needs to be done,” Grant said. “We didn’t know where to start so we contacted the Red Cross to see how we could help.”

Weaver supplied the Farmhouse with everything they needed and the effort has grown from there. Grant said the Red Cross needed money more than anything because of the difficulty of getting supplies to the areas hit by the hurricane. She said the money would allow them to get what they needed to the people.

Grant said she was glad to team with the Red Cross because she has seen first hand what a positive difference they can make when they work with the people of Marengo County.

“We know the people in this area have a lot of heart,” Grant said. “We lost our home to a fire in December and within a week we were back in another house as good as new.”

Wicks said since they began the effort they have gotten a positive response.

“We hope we have a really good response to it,” Wicks said. “There are certainly a lot of people who need help out there.”

The biggest challenge has been getting word to the public. Grant said they wanted people to know there was an outlet if they wanted to help.

“We just want everybody to know we are here,” Grant said. “They can call us to find out how to donate and what they can do to help. We are here all day every day and we really appreciate the help for the community.”

The local Red Cross was very appreciative when asked about the Farmhouse’s efforts. Weaver said their campaign was just what the situation called for and felt the impact of their program would be felt all over the region.

“I think it’s great,” Weaver said. “It is very emotional to see what they want to do. Their efforts will go far beyond Marengo County.”

Weaver said they could always use more volunteers.

“We need for more people to fall in step,” Weaver said. “We appreciate all their efforts and all our volunteers.”

For more information on how to help, please call the Farmhouse at 334-289-9918. Donations should be made out to Hurricane Katrina relief.