A Lawrence man early this morning delivered about 800 pairs of leather gloves straight to the hands of rescue workers removing debris from the gutted hull of the federal building in Oklahoma City.
Larry Loveland, a retired Lawrence police officer, arrived in Oklahoma City about 1 a.m. today in his car, which was loaded with about $4,000 worth of gloves.
He was allowed to deliver them to law enforcement officers about two blocks away from the building that was partially destroyed last Wednesday in the worst terrorist bombing in U.S. history.
"They were ecstatic," Loveland said of officials' response when he arrived. "They were surprised at the number of gloves in the car."
The trunk and entire back seat of Loveland's burgundy Infiniti was filled with donated gloves collected in a drive that began Monday evening in Lawrence.
"The response in the community was remarkable given that this was only in a day's time," he said. "It was very much appreciated by the people down there."
After staying in Oklahoma City about an hour, Loveland returned to Lawrence. He arrived back here about 7:45 a.m.
"I'm kind of a night person," he said. "But I just felt awfully good about the trip -- that's where I found the energy to drive home.
"It was very satisfying. I think it should be satisfying for the members of this community."
Gloves collected by Loveland will be used by firefighters clearing debris and bodies from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The official death toll hovered around 100 this morning; it could eventually be as high as 200.
"They seemed to be stocked pretty well ... with the exception of those gloves," Loveland said.