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St. Mary’s Catholic Church lending hand to Sandy volunteers

Jennifer Sprouse • Nov 16, 2012 at 9:50 PM

St. Mary’s Catholic Church will soon be housing volunteers heading to New Jersey to help in clean up efforts from superstorm Sandy.

Around a dozen or more volunteers from Resurrection Catholic High School from Pascagoula, Miss., will be making an overnight stop in Johnson City on Sunday, as it is the halfway point on their way to the New Jersey coast.

The group will be working during Thanksgiving week to help those devastated by the storm.

The Rev. Peter Iorio said he was contacted by a representative from the high school, asking if the church would accommodate them during their travels.

“This is all just kind of transpired in the last couple of days,” Iorio said Thursday night, in reference to making plans to house the group in St. Mary’s gym.

Announcing that visitors would be coming to the church to parishioners at Thursday’s 7 a.m. Mass, Iorio said a group of church members have already volunteered to provide a dinner for the group when they arrive at the church Sunday.

He said they will also provide a breakfast for the volunteers Monday that they can take on the road with them.

Resurrection Catholic volunteers will be coming back through Johnson City on Nov. 24, and Iorio said St. Mary’s will host a Thanksgiving meal and a special Mass for the group before they head back to Mississippi.

St. Mary’s will also be collecting supplies prior to their arrival Sunday for the group to take with them to use during the cleanup. Some items people could donate include bleach, detergent, scrub brushes, heavy duty contractor garbage bags, diapers, wipes, work gloves, rakes, toilettes and bottled water.

“Any help is welcome and most appreciated,” Iorio said.

He said lending a hand parish to parish is just a simple way they can help, and he and St. Mary’s church members are excited to welcome their guests.

“You never know what type of little seeds may be planted by some of the new friendships or relationships that we make in meeting people like this,” Iorio said.

Anyone wanting to donate supplies to send with the group to New Jersey can call St. Mary’s at 282-6367.

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