Sunday 12:45PM Update: Donations Roll in for Volunteers Searching for Missing Girls
EVANSDALE, Iowa - Area residents and businesses are making sure hundreds of volunteers and emergency workers searching for two missing girls are well fed and stay hydrated.
Donations of water, sports drinks, food and ice are constantly arriving at the Evansdale Community Response Center. The police and fire station, located at 911 S. Evans Road, is ground zero in the attempt to locate 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Waterloo and her 8-year-old cousin, Elizabeth Collins, of Evansdale.
The children were last seen at about 12:15 p.m. Friday near downtown Evansdale riding their bikes. Their bicycles were found about four hours later on the southeast corner of Meyers Lake along the bike trail.
Family, friends, volunteers and emergency workers from throughout Northeast Iowa have been looking for the girls almost nonstop since Friday afternoon. No clues to their whereabouts have been found.
Supplies to aid the search have poured in. Some arrive by the truckload, while other concerned residents bring just a few bags of chips or ice.
At about 9:30 a.m. today, a representative from Kwik Trip Inc, a convenience store chain based in La Crosse, Wis., called food coordinators to say a semi from the company containing several pallets of food and goods 1,000 hamburgers, 1,000 hot dogs, buns, fruit, bananas, etc. would arrive later this afternoon.
The gesture, along with the generosity of others, brought Marlene Schaefer to tears.
"It's just the kindness," she said, while sobbing and wiping her eyes.
Beth Kamp of Cedar Falls is coordinating the food and drink effort. Her 14-year-old son, Hunter Dally, along with about eight others are assisting. Schaefer is in that group.
Kamp arrived early Saturday morning to drop off some water and volunteer. Officials asked if she wanted to be in charge of food and drink donations and feeding people. She didn't think twice about accepting.
Kamp said people and businesses don't hesitate to donate when asked, and goods just show up. Her and her son were out soliciting donations until 10 p.m. Saturday.
"At least right now, (supplies) are good. But things go fast," she said, urging others to donate because its unknown how long the search will last.
The biggest need is for prepackaged food, like snacks, to keep searchers fed, Kamp said. Water and meat isn't an issue at this time.
Pallet after pallet of bottled water has arrived since Friday afternoon. Local Casey's General Stores and Papa Johns have donated hundreds of pizzas. Area Subway stores sent sandwiches. Fareway stores have sent deli meats and bread.
Panera Bread donated hundreds of bagels, Hy-Vee stores donated about 400 hot dogs and buns and other supplies. The list of donors is too extensive to name them all, Kamp said.
Food volunteer April Schultz of Evansdale is overwhelmed by the community response.
"It just shows amazing things (occur)," she said. "People will come together at a time like this."