As Hurricane Idalia strengthens and approaches the coast of Florida, local Concord-based disaster relief nonprofit, Gleaning For The World is gearing up to provide supplies, and hope, for residents affected by this powerful storm.
Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis has already declared a state of emergency in 46 counties across the state as Florida residents begin to prepare their homes, gather sandbags, and, for many, make plans to evacuate. Twenty-one counties are under evacuation notice, and in eight of those counties, evacuation is mandatory. As of Monday, 38 school districts have closed in preparation for the storm, two local airports have ceased operations, and the state has closed its gates to 65 state parks.
Not only is Hurricane Idalia forecasting to be a devastating storm, tropical storm warnings are in effect for areas just outside of Idalia’s path. Along with tropical storms comes the potential for tornadoes as well.
Gleaning For The World is known for responding to natural and man-made disasters. With 25 years of disaster relief experience behind them, they have many partners throughout Florida with whom they’ve worked together to deliver and distribute supplies like bottled water, nonperishable foods, hygiene items, baby diapers and formula, as well as clean up supplies (i.e. bleach, large trash bags, gloves) and pet foods.
Understanding the complexities that come after a storm of this size, Gleaning For The World has announced it will be accepting donations of the above mentioned items at Sam’s Club on Wards Road in Lynchburg Wednesday and Thursday, this week, from 10am until 6pm both days.
“With a storm of this size about to make landfall, we’re already communicating with our Florida partners in several parts of the state to see where we are able to set up a distribution site, where the donated items will be given to families and individuals affected by this storm,” Gleaning’s president Jeane Smiley-Mason said. “We’re joining others in prayer for Florida.”
A full list of needed supplies is available at GFTW.org, on Gleaning’s Facebook page, and in person at Sam’s Club. You can also call 434-993-3600 for an emailed copy of the list.
For those interested in giving a financial donation, which helps cover the costs of hauling these supplies to Florida, a secure donation page for this effort can be found at bit.ly/gftw_idalia or a check (with “Idalia” in the memo line) can be mailed to GFTW PO Box 645 Concord, VA 24538.