Glasgow-Barren Countians are reaching out to help Hurricane Katrina victims.

As of Friday afternoon, the Barren County Chapter of the American Red Cross had already collected $7,000 after announcing on Thursday it was accepting monetary donations.

Stacy Janes, executive director for the Barren County Chapter of the Red Cross, commended those who have made donations.

“They are amazing,” she said. “I can’t believe so many have come through this time.”

Donations for Hurricane Katrina victims are coming in a lot quicker than they did for the Thailand tsunami victims, Janes said. The local Red Cross chapter collected $17,000 in a month for the tsunami victims, but after two days the Red Cross has already taken in close to half that amount, she said.

The money will be forwarded to victims almost as soon as it is collected, Janes said.

In addition to taking monetary donations, the Red Cross is sponsoring a blood drive for the hurricane victims on Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the fourth floor classrooms of T.J. Samson Community Hospital.

“We’re not sure how much blood is needed,” said Jan Stuart, director of blood services for the Barren County Chapter of the Red Cross.

The Red Cross will also be soliciting donations so it may keep an adequate supply of blood on hand for the 56 hospitals it serves in the Ohio Valley, she said.

Stuart urges those wishing to donate blood to make an appointment.

Several area businesses are also helping the Red Cross collect monetary donations.

The Wal-Mart Supercenter in Glasgow set up an aquarium at its entrance with a sign pasted on it urging customers to donate for the relief effort.

“We started our efforts Tuesday afternoon,” said John Waddle, assistant manager. “As of today we are right at $600.”

The Glasgow Wal-Mart store will turn the money it collects over to its corporate office in Benton, Ark. which will then make a donation to the Red Cross.

According to Waddle, Wal-Mart’s corporate office has already made a substantial donation.

“Corporation wise we’ve already donated $1 million plus to the Red Cross, and of course, our distribution centers in that area are in the process of taking water and necessities into the area,” he said.

Customers and employees of E.W. James and Sons store in Glasgow is collecting monetary donations, as well as brooms, mops, buckets, cleaning supplies, bottled water, diapers, baby wipes, personal hygiene items, first aid kits and other non-perishable supplies.

“We just started with the monetary donations this morning. Our corporate office will make a monetary donation along with whatever the customers donate,” said Ervin Sorrell, store manager.

As for the mops, brooms, buckets and other supplies, Sorrell said customers can purchase those items at the store and leave there for distribution to the hurricane victims.

On Friday morning, the store had already collected a shopping cart full of items.

Once the store collects a pallet full of goods, the items will then be shipped to the hurricane ravaged areas, he said.

Food Lion is also accepting donations.

“We’ve taken in some water and some bleach so far,” said John Carter, store manger.

Food Lion began collecting items Thursday, and is only collecting such items as mops, brooms and cleaning supplies. The store is not taking any monetary donations, Carter said.

Other area businesses accepting donations are the Barren County Family YMCA and Caveland Environmental.

The YMCA is accepting monetary donations only, while Caveland Environmental in Cave City will begin accepting monetary donations on Monday, as well as bottled water, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items and diapers.

The local Salvation Army is also accepting monetary donations, and as of Friday afternoon it had collected $5,000.

Sue Haynes, who heads up the Salvation Army in Barren County, stressed making monetary donations is the best thing to do at this point.

“The food, the water and other items we’re going to have to transport,” she said, and getting those items to the hurricane victims at this time may be difficult whereas the money collected for the relief effort can be sent immediately.

For more information on how to help hurricane victims, call the Barren County Chapter of the American Red Cross at 659-2050 or 576-4747, or the Salvation Army at 651-9006.

For more information about the American Red Cross’ blood drive on Sept. 14 or to make an appointment, call Jan Stuart at 651-8349 or 651-4191.

Contact Gina Kinslow by emailing gkinslow@glasgowdailytimes.com

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