Among the boxes of food, water and clothing heading out of Fort Meade today for hurricane-ravaged South Florida is a much-requested commodity -- insect repellent.
"People down there don't have homes, furniture, food or even jobs, but they keep asking us to send them some bug spray," said Chief Warrant Officer Carol Barber, organizer of more than 100 Navy and Marine volunteers loading trucks this weekend at Fort Meade.
The round-the-clock effort on the military base is one of several under way in Maryland this weekend.
In Harford County, volunteer firefighters began collecting donations in the parking lots at White Marsh and Harford malls yesterday afternoon. By the end of today, they hope to have two tractor-trailer loads -- about 80,000 pounds' worth -- to send to southern Dade County.
The collection drive was begun by Bel Air resident Junelle Hanbury on Wednesday. After dozens of phone calls, she got New England Tractor Trailer Training School to donate the trucks, the firefighters to collect the goods and the Maryland State Police to escort the rigs to the state line tomorrow afternoon.