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Sun, July 21

Local group driving to Joplin, Mo., to help tornado victims; supplies, volunteers needed

A truckload of needed supplies and a cadre of volunteers who know how to use chainsaws will leave Prescott Valley Sunday for tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., to help people there rebuild.

Master's Touch, a Christian charter service based in Prescott Valley, is spearheading the relief effort.

Master's Touch owners Warren and Debby Micale and their staff have acquaintances in the area, and this prompted their desire to reach out to people left with nothing because of the tornado. The Micales' daughter attended college in Joplin, and they had just returned from a visit to that area. They have arranged with two churches to be distribution centers for the supplies they will deliver.

The collection drive runs through Saturday. Departure for Joplin is set for 3 p.m. Sunday from the Master's Touch office, 6550 E. 2nd St., Suite A, Prescott Valley.

Items on the list of needs include antibiotic ointment, backpacks, Band-Aids, bandages, blankets, child car seats, cots, denture products, duct tape, first aid supplies, flip flops, gas cards, ladies' needs, laundry detergent, pain relievers, paper plates, peanut butter, pillows (new only), ready-to-eat, non-refrigerated foods, shoes, sleeping bags (new only), socks, tarps, toilet paper, toiletries of every kind, toothbrushes, tote bags, towels, trash bags and washcloths (new only).

Because Joplin residents must boil their water, bottled water is desperately needed, said Master's Touch office manager Roberta Bramlet. Also, donations to help with fuel for the truck and trailer, being donated for use by Bennett Oil of Prescott, will help the cause, she said. The effort could also use relief drivers, though several Master's Touch drivers are planning to go on the trip. Male volunteers are requested for the relief effort because a church will provide lodging for men, Bramlet added. Transportation will be provided for volunteer workers who make the trip. Each volunteer is asked to contribute $100 to cover the cost of fuel. The first 50 men to sign up will go, the Micales said.

Workers are asked to bring chainsaws, if possible, and men are also needed to help residents search through rubble for any belongings they have lost. General cleanup is also a priority.

"Please remember this will be a work environment," the Micales said. "Each person who goes along must be dedicated to working hard."

In order to keep donations totally separate from Master's Touch operations, the Micales request that contributions be made by cash or check, made payable to Master's Touch, with "Joplin relief" in the memo line.

Drop-off points for donations and times are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the First Southern Baptist Church, 2820 N. Pleasant View Drive, Prescott Valley; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Walmart on Gail Gardner Way in Prescott; and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Walmart on Highway 69. Donations may also be dropped off at the Master's Touch office. For more information about the Joplin trip, call Master's Touch at 759-0206.

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