Area residents fill semis with items for Nebraska flood victims
As a result of an outpouring of giving by residents of Cloud County and the surrounding area, two semi trailers loaded with relief items left Concordia on Sunday to be delivered to victims of the historic flooding in Nebraska.
The donation drive began last Monday following a Facebook post made by former Concordian Christa (Bergmann) Baumann. She and her husband, Kade, live outside Kensington and were organizing an effort to collect items for the Nebraska flood victims in Smith and Phillips County.
Denise Baumann, no relation to Christa, saw the Facebook post early Monday morning.
The cardiopulmonary director at Cloud County Health Center, Denise Baumann approached the hospital administrator David Garnas about getting involved in the effort.
Christa Baumann also contacted her mother, Annie Bergmann, the Concordia Chamber of Commerce director.
Bergmann, Denise Baumann and CloudCorp executive director Kim Reynolds worked together to coordinate the effort in Cloud County.
Reynolds had also been contacted by former Concordian Russell Dethloff, who now lives in Nebraska, about the possibility of collecting donations.
Cloud County Health Center was designated as the dropoff spot, and donations starting pouring in Monday afternoon.
Reynolds sent out emails to the schools in Concordia Unified School District 333 and to each of the other towns in Cloud County.
Each of the communities responded with donations of cash and goods that were picked up on Friday.
“We ended up with two full semis just from Cloud County,” Reynolds said.
A semi was needed to pick up items from Clyde, Clifton-Clyde High School and the Concordia Junior-Senior High School.
A semi loaded with donations from Smith and Phillips counties also headed to Nebraska on Sunday.
Another semi with donations of feed from Osborne County stopped in Belleville on Saturday to pick up items donated in Republic County on its way to Nebraska. Those items were dropped off in York.
“When I sit back and look at just what our county did, that is why you live in rural Kansas. That is what the people of rural Kansas are about, they are service above self. They don't think twice about giving,” Reynolds said.
Along with the large volume of items , approximately $3,600 in cash was donated in Cloud County.
Denise Baumann used much of that cash to purchase larger items needed by Nebraska residents such as dehumidifiers, shop vacs and box fans.
Cloud County Health Center employees spent countless hours sorting and packing the large amount of items dropped off throughout last week.
“Maintenance, housekeeping, all of those people were packing for three days. Carrying stuff down and putting them on pallets. They were just awesome,” Denise Baumann said.
Also dropped off in Cloud County was a trailer of items from Russell High School, water donated from the Cloud County Community College Geary County Campus, a pallet of feed from a family in Abilene and a load of goods from a 4-H club in Kansas City.
Champlin Tire Recycling, Inc., Concordia, donated the use of a semi-trailer to haul the items to Nebraska and Wayne Jeardoe pulled it with his semi-tractor.
When it became clear that more than one semi was going to be needed for the items collected in Cloud County, Pachta Farms in Republic County provided their truck to help out.
Cloud County 4-H groups and volunteers from the community helped load the trailers on Saturday afternoon at Cloud County Health Center.
The semis loaded with donated items then traveled to Lincoln, Neb. on Sunday and those items were to be distributed from there to the areas in need.
Most of the items from Cloud County were expected to be distributed in the Verdigre area.
Some cash that was left over was given to a veterinarian clinic in Verdigre to assist with caring for cattle.