As churches and relief organizations across the country seek ways to help a battered New York City, many are looking to Glad Tidings Tabernacle, an Assemblies of God church located 2.5 miles from ground zero, for direction and supplies.
David Cushworth, who coordinates the church's Delaware-based Urban Life ministry, says people began to give money for supplies as soon as they heard about the attack, including the church's pastor, Carl Keyes, his wife, Donna, and the worship pastor and church secretary—most of the church's staff.
"Everyone immediately dug into their wallets and got their credit cards and checkbooks," he says. Meanwhile, Cushworth got on the phone to request donations. "While they're spending money, I'm making phone calls [to raise money]," he says. "We were borrowing money, just trying to get some funds into the situation there."
The church has purchased a wide variety of items, from baby clothes and dog food to gloves, boots, masks, and gallons of saline solution for emergency workers. The church has also supplied paper, pens, and other office supplies to centers where people are filing information about their missing loved ones.
Although initial efforts were rushed and scattershot, Glad Tidings has since become a central place where firefighters, police officers, and other relief workers are calling to get needed supplies. Glad Tidings is working closely with other churches and agencies like the Red Cross and Convoy of Hope to provide for needs that change hourly.
At least two or three times a day, says spokeswoman Nina Shelton, volunteers meet with people from other charities and emergency services. "We sit down and say 'What ...1