With much of the East Coast currently under Hurricane Florence, many in the Golden Isles are stepping up to help in any way they can.
Mtn2Sea Ministries and many local organizations are working together to gather food and transport it to South Carolina in preparation for the aftermath of Florence, said Kevin Dezern, with Georgia Saltwater Adventures.
“We’re going to be looking for a lot of things like Gatorade, diapers, wet wipes, pet food,” Dezern said. “We’ll be looking for that initially, but there are some other things we’ll look for. Socks, toilet paper, juices, baby food, you know, just little things like that. Batteries are also a good thing to bring.”
Dezern also said Mtn2Sea has secured storage and transport for donated supplies and will be making regular trips to South Carolina over the next two to three weeks.
“We’re going to use our resources to gather things locally, and they’re going to use their resources to take it up there,” Dezern said. “Anytime something like this happens, we try to be proactive ... We didn’t have power for such a long time, we know what it’s like.”
According to the group’s Facebook page, it will accept Visa gift cards and boxes in good condition to carry supplies. Chad Robbins, founder of Mtn2Sea, declined to comment Friday. Instead, he directed people to the group’s Facebook page. He said the drop-off locations and requested supplies may change over time, and asked anyone interested to check the page.
Anyone wishing to donate to Mtn2Sea can drop supplies off at the following locations during their regular business hours: Coastal Outdoors Hunting & Fishing, Wake Up Coffee, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, Skinny Pete’s Wings, Belk, Coastal Landscape and Design, Aspen Dental, The Chapel Midtown and CenterPoint Church in Brunswick and Savannah Bee Company, Simply Mac and Seaside Veterinary Hospital on St. Simons Island.
Supplies can be dropped off in the parking lot of the Chick-fil-A on St. Simons Island between noon and 3 p.m. on Sunday. St. Simons Community Church will also accept donations of sports drinks, canned meat, fruits and vegetables, sunscreen, bug spray and tarps for Mtn2Sea on Sunday.
Ansley Otte, who has also been working to gather donations, asked members of the public to share social media posts they see online, which can be found at Mtn2Sea and Georgia Saltwater Adventures‘ Facebook pages, among others.
For those who can’t make it to a drop location, MAP International takes monetary donations on its website. Donations pay for disaster health kits, which are distributed in shelters so people can keep clean and prevent disease from spreading.
Martin Smith, MAP International communications manager, said a donation of $10 pays for one health kit.
“We’ve already placed 4,000 disaster health kits with the emergency management agencies and with a church partner in those areas that will be affected by Florence,” Smith said Thursday. “We’re monitoring several storms globally, and we have as many as 15,000 that we can deploy at any one time.”
Kits include basic necessities: toothbrushes, antiseptic wipes, combs, brushes and band-aids, among other things.
“They include basic health items to help prevent the spread of illness in shelters, and each kit is designed to cover someone for one week,” Smith said.
Kits MAP sent Thursday were packed by Members of the Rotary International’s District 6920, which includes clubs in Brunswick and on St. Simons and Jekyll islands.
The organization has a volunteer program that anyone who wants to serve can get involved in. For more information on the program, call 912-265-6010.