Church, manufacturer to send food supplies to Midwest flooding victims Truck to haul goods from area ELLICOTT CITY/ELKRIDGE

An Elkridge church and the local office of a can manufacturing company are working together to send food and other supplies to flood victims in the Midwest.

Melville Chapel United Methodist Church and the U.S. Can Co. are sending a truck loaded with donations to Moline, Ill.


Linda Mayer, a church member and shipping and receiving clerk with the can company, organized the relief effort. The 35-year-old Elkridge woman said she was in church last month praying for flood victims when she thought of the plan.

"I thought to myself, 'Gee, I deal with a lot of carriers. I wonder if can get one of my carriers to send some supplies,' " she recalled.


Ms. Mayer persuaded her bosses at the U.S. Can Co. to store donations at the facility off Washington Boulevard. She also asked Ozark Motor Lines in Memphis, Tenn., to donate a 48-foot tractor-trailer to deliver the goods.

Midwest flood relief organizers said donations, especially scented cleaning supplies, will help residents up and down the Mississippi River.

"Send anything that smells good," said the Rev. Ivan Lirely, warehouse director for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which will accept the supplies from Elkridge.

In an Aug. 11 letter to Ms. Mayer, Mr. Lirely described the smelly conditions left by the receding flood water.

"The devastation we see here is almost unbelievable," he wrote. "Many homes must be completely renovated. Can you imagine what all of that water does to walls and floors, carpets and furniture -- and the stench! Ugh!"

Among the items needed are cleaning supplies, baby food and supplies, such as diapers, talcum powder, and bottles, insect repellent, bedding, furniture and appliances, and construction materials.

Donations can be dropped off at the U.S. Can Co., 6935 San Tomas Drive in the Route 100 Industrial Park, between 7 a.m. and midnight, or at Melville Chapel United Methodist Church at 5660 Furnace Ave.

To ensure that someone is at the church to accept donations, call 796-0211. The deadline for donations is Friday.