Businesses, organizations join disaster relief effort

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 19, 2018

A week after Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida panhandle, as well as parts of other portions of the Southeast, Troy residents are continuing to gather necessities for the survivors.

From the Pike Animal Shelter to a campus-wide donation drive at Troy University to individuals collecting donations, Troy residents are answering the call to assist those without homes, power and other essential items.

Denise Allgood, customer service manager at Troy Cable, said she knows all too well how a devastating storm like Michael can impact the lives of the people living in the affected area.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I survived Hurricane Katrina myself, so I know this need is a long-lasting one and not just the week or month after the storm hits,” Allgood said. “Katrina is the reason I’m here in Troy today. I moved here two years after when the coast (of Mississippi) never came back.”

To help those people in need, Troy Cable is hosting a “continuous” disaster relief drive to take necessities down to the most impacted areas.

“Transformation Church volunteered to take the first set down (Friday),” Allgood said. “We have another set that has volunteered to pick up the next set Tuesday and go down. We’re just going to keep filling up.”

Allgood said Lynn Haven, where her boss’ hoem was destroyed, is the current staging area for supplies, but supplies are expected to go to other areas as well.

“We know others that have lost everything in Port St. Joe,” Allgood said. “We’ve let them know we’ll collect everything and they can get whatever they need and take it wherever they need to take it.”

Allgood said the needed items will change over time as well. Right now the focus is on basic necessities. “They’re in survival mode,” Allgood said. Once they regain a semblance of life again, a roof over their heads, then they will begin needing dishes and other house furnishings, Allgood said.

Donations can be dropped off at three Troy Cable locations: 1006 S. Brundidge St. in Troy, 1298 Andrews Ave. in Ozark and 106 N. Edwards St. in Enterprise.

The Troy Junior Women’s League has also begun taking donations and is planning to keep the effort up continuously as well.

“We actually just sent our first load to Mexico Beach,” said Abby Peters. “We’ve partnered up with Covenant Presbyterian Church in Panama City for our next load. The pastor and his family and several other church families lost everything, so the next couple of loads will be for the church families in Panama City. They church and school were also destroyed. Once their needs are met, they’re going to send us to the next people in line.”

Peters said the group is working to get supplies to people who can’t make it to the staging locations where most of the donations are going.

“If we get contacted by a specific family, we will deliver it directly to them,” Peters said. “Many people don’t have access to drop locations. We try to reach out and help anybody that we can.”

The KW Sanders family of businesses are already raising donations internally and will soon be bringing in the community as well by positioning a truck for drop-offs.

“We hope to have a truck filled by next Friday to be delivered next weekend,” said Stephanie Baker, marketing director. “But we will take as many trucks as we need; as long as people keep donating, we’ll keep delivering.”