Hurricane Michael pummeled Florida last week and starting this week, locals are collecting items to help those in need in the southeast United States.
The Travis Manion Foundation, a veteran leadership and service organization, is teaming up with Hopkins County organizations to gather supplies needed to help rebuild and replenish those who are suffering the effects of the hurricane.
As part of this effort the Dawson Springs Family Resource Youth Service Center at the local school district and the Dawson Springs Rotary Club are collecting items for citizens. Other locations are available in Hopkins County.
The Hopkins County goal is to fill three 20-foot enclosed trailers with basic necessities, according to a news release from the foundation. This project is called Prayers for the Panhandle: a Hurricane Relief Supplies Drive.
Items needed include water, bottled & gallons; Gatorade; Ensure; Non-perishable food items (food that does not have to be refrigerated or heated, peanut butter, tuna, dried beans, etc); Medicines; Tarps; Contractor trash bags; Toilet paper; Paper Towels; Diapers; Baby wipes; Baby formula; Soap; Cleaning supplies; Toiletries; Feminine products; Fix-a-Flat; Propane tanks; First Aid kits; Gloves; Bleach; Charcoal; Lighters; Batteries; Flashlights; Candles; Dog food; Cat food; Blankets; Socks; Sunscreen; School supplies; 50/50 gas oil blend; Chainsaw oil; Chainsaws; and Volunteers are also accepting fuel cards and pre-paid VISA/MasterCards to pay for fuel costs.
Schools supplies and good used clothes can also be donated.
FRYSC and the Rotary Club will serve as local drop-off locations for the items, which will be collected through Wednesday. These Madisonville locations will also accept drop-off donations: Barber Boys Barber Shop, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Farmers Bank & Trust, Hadassah Hair Studio, Hancock Bank & Trust, Hopkins County Clerk’s Office, Hopkins County Family YMCA, Hopkins County Sheriff’s Department, Studio 8 Twenty One and The Snooty Fox.
Dawson Springs scouts are helping fill a semi by Thursday with cleaning supplies, water, toiletries, nonperishable food items and baby products.
Donations can be taken to First United Methodist Church in Dawson Springs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday during Den Meeting or Tabatha Adams can meet at Dairy Queen at 2:30 p.m. today or Thursday. Find her on Facebook for more information.
These efforts are so important especially since many people with local ties were affected. Yes, many vacations were ruined and money lost. But those people who live in the panhandle likely have no home to which to return.
Dawson Springs resident Ava Tossi has a son, Joseph, who is stationed with his family at Tyndall Air Force base. 12 miles east of Panama City, Fla.
They evacuated before the hurricane reached them and they are safe. The base is still considered dangerous and power won’t be restored for weeks.
In the next few days, an official posted on the base’s Facebook page, airmen will be able to come back to their homes most likely to gather their belongings, if any are left. They will not be able to stay.
Ava has started a GoFundMe page to gather donations and update people about Tossi’s situation. You can find the page at https://www.gofundme.com/local-airman-is-hurricane-victim?viewcontent=139692480 or search for Local Airman is Hurricane Victim on the site.
The goal is $1,000. As of Tuesday night, the total was at $600.