The death toll continues to climb, as rescuers search for the missing in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Michael.
The monstrous storm slammed into Florida’s Panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane, before making its way across Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia, according to CNN reports.
As residents try to regroup in communities ravaged by winds clocked at up to 155 mph, storm surge and flooding — a groundswell of support has risen from across the nation, including local groups.
In Pasco County, Lakeside Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, 4608 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes, is among those who have stepped up to help the hurricane victims.
The company emptied out a trailer and began collecting donations, so it could drive the items up to Panama City.
“We reached out to Lutz Elementary, as well as the Central Pasco Chamber who is assisting us in collecting donations,” Jacqueline Horruitiner, the company’s office manager, said via email. “Dade City Transmission is also collecting donations for us,” she added.
The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce got involved, too, putting out the word that one of its members, Carlos Saenz with Ballantrae Dairy Queen, would be making a trip to the Panhandle with supplies. The chamber accepted donations, including such items as bleach, trash bags, water, personal hygiene products, nonperishable foods, diapers and feminine products.
The chamber also notified its members of Lakeside Heating, Cooling & Plumbing’s collection efforts.
Previously, the Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel Noon, the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce and Wesley Chapel Nissan stepped up to collect donations and transport them to Port St. Joe, and Pasco County emergency personnel deployed to the hurricane zone to help in Hurricane Michael’s aftermath.
Area Goodwill stores and donation centers continue to accept donations for Hurricane Michael relief from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, according to a news release from the organization.
Donations also are being accepted at Goodwill donation trailers from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Goodwill staff is working on arrangements for when and how donated items, such as bottled water and nonperishable food, will be delivered to help storm victims both at the Fasano shelter and in the Panhandle.
Items such as clothing and household items donated to Goodwill will be sold in its stores, and the proceeds will support Red Cross certificates redeemable in stores that will be given to storm victims, allowing them to select items they want and need.
Goodwill can accept almost anything for this effort, but is focusing on clothing, shoes, towels, linens and other household goods.
For Goodwill donation locations, visit Goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff.
If people would like to make monetary donations to Hurricane Michael relief efforts, visit RedCross.org.
Published October 24, 2018