Red Cross donations continue to pour in

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 15, 2005

On Wednesday afternoon, Red Cross executive director Faye Byrum was sitting in her Clay Street office, perhaps thinking about her organization’s Sept. 20 blood drives around Suffolk.

Suddenly, Debbie Spratley walked through the door and handed Byrum $736!

But Byrum wasn’t surprised – ever since Hurricane Katrina rocked the southern part of the country in late August, random acts of donation have been a common occurrence for her.

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&uot;There are a lot of things going on around town that we’re not even aware of,&uot; said Byrum, whose organization had collected over $51,000 by late Wednesday. &uot;People collect at their work sites, their churches, everywhere. It’s been a fantastic outpouring of generosity.&uot;

The Tuesday after Katrina’s unwelcome visit, Spratley put up a poster at the Nansemond Pointe Rehabilitation and Heathcare center, where she’s a nurse.

&uot;It could have been us,&uot; she said of the victims. &uot;I had $200 in the first 24 hours.&uot;

Over the next few weeks, donations rolled in from the staff, residents and their families. One person gave $100, another $50. Some of her money came from a bake sale at the nearby Nansemond Retirement Center.

&uot;Some of the residents couldn’t come see me,&uot; she said, &uot;so they’d give money to their nurses and tell them to give it to me.&uot;

When she came to Byrum, Byrum said, &uot;I was surprised, but it’s been wonderful. Organizations like hers have been coming in every day. It’s a wonderful surprise.&uot;