By James Beaty
Members of the Hartshorne First Assembly of God Church are collecting donations to help tornado victims in Moore.
By early Tuesday, donations were starting to come in after word spread through word-of-mouth and social media.
The church is at the corner of 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue — which is what U.S. Highway 270 is called in the city of Hartshorne.
“We’re collecting diapers, wipees, sanitizer, gloves, masks, water, bottled water, Gatorade and toiletries,” said Jaime Horstman, who is married to HFA Pastor Scott Horstman.
“We’ve also found out they need pet supplies,” she said, such as pet food, dishes, even cages, including carrying cages, for pets — many of which now are homeless, along with their human owners.
If someone would rather donate money than gather the supplies, HFA will purchase the needed items, Jaime Horstman said.
Early Tuesday, HFA member Polly Burke was shopping for some of the items in a local store.
Jaime Horstman said the church plans to work with the faith-based Convoy of Hope to determine the best time to deliver the donated items.
The plan is to collect items for several days before making the delivery.
“We’re going to wait a few days and take a crew up there to help,” she said.
Items can be dropped off at the church’s New Life Center, which is the building with the awning out front. Items can be dropped of from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. this week, she said.
When the donations are collected, Pastor Scott Horstman and some members of the church congregation plan to personally deliver the donations to Moore, so the items can be distributed to those in need.
Those who make the trip from HFA plan to try and do more than meet the victims’ material needs. They hope to help them spiritually as well.
“Whenever we take a work team, we’ll take a missionary team,” Scott Horstman said. “We have an opportunity to pray one-on-one and give them hope.”
It’s not the first time the Horstmans have led a drive to assist those in need.
When Scott Horstman was still a youth pastor, he helped with a drive to assist tornado victims in Mena, Ark. in 2009.
After he became pastor at Hartshorne First Assembly, he and other volunteers with the church delivered supplies to help victims following the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo. They also worked in the clean-up effort.
For this drive, Scott Horstman said the church is partnering with Pastor Jerry Ford and the Assembly of God Church in Smithville, which is a town in McCurtain County.
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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