Local group ‘adopts’ Town of Ider

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A group of Brewton residents have banded together to adopt the small town of Ider in northeast Alabama.

Ider, located in DeKalb County, is one of many towns across northern and central Alabama that were devastated by last week’s tornadoes.

Now, what began as a Facebook idea from Brewton resident Susan Rhodes has quickly grown into a much larger plan with the number of people involved increasing every day.

“I, like so many other people wanted to do something to help,” said Rhodes. “My son had asked me what we could do for the children who had lost everything. After doing some checking, I and several others got in touch with Holly Hart Shirley, who has the Web site for Toomer’s For Tuscaloosa, and asked if we could have a Brewton chapter. Our idea was to fill shoe size boxes with things a child would need, like the shoeboxes gathered at Christmas. We called them Angel boxes.”

When Rhodes posted her idea on Facebook, the effort began to grow.

“I heard from many others asking what they could do,” she said. “The boxes have now grown to include all kinds of needed items in the area. We were not going to collect any money, but Linda Williamson at Brewton Mill Federal Credit Union set up an account that we can use to take donations of money. Sarju Patel stepped up to say that we could use the Brewton Motor Inn as a drop-off place for items to be carried to Ider.”

The donations will continue to be taken through Friday, and several vehicles will leave Brewton early Saturday morning to take the things to ider. The citizens need almost everything, clothing, non perishable food, tote bags (to carry whatever they can recover), water, and any number of other things.

“We are a small group and don’t have a lot of restrictions,” Rhodes said. “Those people even need plastic containers to use to store any small items that may have survived. We need personal products and baby items. Baby wipes are good because they can be used for all family members.”

Rhodes said she was glad that social networking helped spread the word.

“We all know that Facebook can be used in various ways,” she said. “It can be used for bad, but it also works for the good. Without it the word of what we are trying to do would have not gotten out. It is a blessing to use it to spread the word.”