In the wake of Hurricane Michael, Walton County has been inundated with volunteer requests from Walton County residents wanting to help their neighbors, friends and families impacted by Hurricane Michael. In order to provide an opportunity for those who would like to volunteer, the county has created a registration link:
WCEM is looking for volunteers to assist with sheltering, points of distribution, donations management centers and other areas in the impacted counties. Registering at the address above will allow Walton County to process volunteer requests and work with potential volunteers to assist where they are needed most. The needs are great and the process of relief to recovery will be long and strenuous.
Donation Drop-off points have been setup throughout South Walton, including:
Alaqua Animal Refuge
914 Whitfield Road, Freeport – Items most requested now are bottled water, dog and cat food, litter, used linens, cleaning products (bleach, soap, topical cleaners).
Buddy’s Seafood Market
5231 E. County Hwy. 30A, Seagrove Beach – Looking to borrow twenty 100 quart coolers in order to transport large quantities of ice to affected areas. Also accepting donations of bottled water, diapers, baby formula, baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, dog/cat food, dehydrated milk, feminine products, tarps, gas, non perishable foods.
Food for Thought
132 Market Street, Santa Rosa Beach – *collecting children’s supplies: diapers, pull-ups, wipes, underwear for children of all sizes, formula, bottles, pacifiers
Grayton Beer Company
217 Serenoa Road, Santa Rosa Beach – is operating as a launch point for WCEM.
South Walton Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast
427 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach – Accepting school supplies, snacks, water, non-perishable foods and athletic supplies.
Destiny Worship Center
122 Poinciana Blvd. Miramar Beach – Items may be dropped off at any weekend services as well as Wednesday-Friday from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. until further notice.
Sheriff Michael Adkinson suggests not attempting to venture into the impacted area as many roads are still impassable. “The most important thing you can do is not self deploy,” he said. “If you wish to donate bring items you have to any number of drop-off points in Walton County. We’ll make sure it gets to the people in need in a safe and timely manner.” In addition, the Grayton Beer Brewpub is operating as a regional staging and distribution point for supplies needed in the relief effort throughout the Florida Panhandle.
Already signs of life are appearing, and in the midst of tragedy, we are all witnessing a community coming together, putting their own lives on hold to help in the recovery. Local realtor Jimmy Burgess, noted on his facebook page that “estimates were months for power to be restored, but now 95% of Bay County is expected to have power restored by October 24th, thanks to the 1000’s of linemen pouring in from all over the country.
A personal favorite was this story of a tree service company driving through the most devastated areas of Bay County, coming across an elderly woman emerging from a home completely surrounded by fallen trees and debris. The gentlemen asked if she needed help with the tree removal and clearing. She replied, “how much.”
“oh, no ma’am, no charge, we want to help,” they said. The woman, with tears in her eyes told the men another tree service had just came by 10 minutes earlier and offered to clear her property for $10,000, which she had no way of affording. She said, “I was just on my knees asking God for help. I didn’t know He would answer my prayer in 10 minutes!”
In the midst of tragedy, Hope.
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