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The Southport Presbyterian Church on the Southside of Indianapolis has mobilized a significant relief effort using church and other volunteers from as far away as Zionsville to help families affected by the Saturday night explosion that killed two people, injured seven and damaged 80 homes.

“We probably have a couple hundred volunteers who have come forward,” said church chaplain Marcy Snow late this afternoon.

Grilled hamburgers and chicken permeated the air outside the church, where volunteers were working to feed families and other volunteers who were inside sorting through a large roomful of donations. Salad and desserts also were being served.

The church is accepting volunteers to sort and arrange the food, clothing, diapers, toys, water and household items that kept piling in all day.

“The stuff keeps coming in,” said church member Shelley McCleery.

People can continue to bring donations of food, clothing, pet food and household supplies to the church from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. What cannot be used for these families will be given to other charities, said volunteer Barry Griffin.

The outpouring of support has been “beautiful,” Snow said.

Many people have volunteered use of their trucks to haul items out of homes or to remove debris. The Sleepy Hollow Pet Ranch in Indianapolis also volunteered to care for pets temporarily while families who are displaced get settled.

“It’s been fascinating,” Snow said.

She said the church also is accepting monetary donations to help meet families’ needs. The church is located at 7525 S. McFarland Road.

Source: http://www.indystar.com/article/20121111/NEWS/121111014/Indianapolis-community-reaches-out-help-blast-victims