Trinity joins effort to help those in need

By Ronald MacArthur

Sometimes the best ideas come to people when they are cutting their grass. Jimmy Coulbourne, who works for Trinity Distribution Services (TDS) in Seaford, was searching for a way to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

'I knew I wanted to do something, but I was not sure what,' he said. 'I knew I had access to tractor trailers and had a warehouse with some empty space.' And while be was cutting his grass recently his neighbor was also cutting his grass. His neighbor in the Clearbrooke development near Seaford happens to be Louis Citro, the manager of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Seaford.

'I asked him if he was doing any kind of relief drive and he said he wanted to but he couldn't find anyone to handle a large volume of goods,' Coulbourne said. Delmarvacares.org was born in the two men's backyards.

Some employees at Trinity Transport in Bridgeville, the parent company of TDS , were also searching for a way to help hurricane victims. And they knew that they had a way to help - transportation and motivated people.

An employee at Trinity, Elizabeth Dreis, who is the billing supervisor, was already involved with relief efforts at her church - The Tabernacle in Pittsville, through Operation Lifeline. Much needed goods and supplies were being collected and delivered to the Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, La.

'It really all came together at the same time - it was perfect timing,' said Amy Newcomer, an administrative assistant at Trinity. 'The effort has really taken off and become much bigger than any one of us could have done by ourselves,' added Dreis.

Coulbourne set up a website (www.delmarvacares.org) for people to get more information about the relief effort. He also purchased 20 large watermelon crates from the Laurel Auction Block to use in the collection process. Coulbourne has experience in the relief collection and transportation business. He led a collection drive (and actually drove the truck filled with items) to help victims of a tornado in Moore, Okla. in 1999.

On Sept. 8, four large watermelon crates were placed at each entrance way at the Seaford Wal-Mart for donations. When the bins are filled, the goods will be transferred to the TDS warehouse in Seaford, sorted and shipped to the Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge.

'That is the plan if the need is still there, but if we find a place in greater need, we'll ship the goods to that location,' Coulbourne said. Six bins have been filled up already and volunteers are scheduled to sort the goods this week. Coulbourne said that the first shipment could be heading south on Friday or at least by no later than the first part of next week. He is also picking up 13 bins of sorted goods from a relief drive in Cambridge and bringing them to the TDS warehouse in Seaford.

Items being collected include the following: Food: juice boxes, peanut butter and jelly, nonperishable food items. Baby supplies. Adult clothes: underwear, pants, shorts, work gloves, shoes. Supplies: Bug spray, heavy duty trash bags, first aid kits, feminine products, toiletries, storage bins, sheets, blankets, towels, gasoline jugs, tools and pet food.

Cash donations are also being accepted and checks can be made out to the Trinity Foundation. Phone Dreis at 410-430-4104 for more information about making a cash donation.

'Not everyone has the cash, but everyone can donate a pack of T-shirts,' said Coulbourne.

For more information about the relief effort, contact Coulbourne at 628-5460. Other Trinity employees helping with the effort include Carreen Kouts, Bunky Griffith and Tamara Lee-Brooks (800-846-3400).

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