Community responds to flood victims’ needs
By John Howell
and Rita Howell
A first shipment of goods donated for Houston flood victims left Heafner Motors yesterday for Texas. A second shipment will be picked up by Pipeliners of America on Saturday to be carried to Texas Harvey victims. Donations for the second shipment will be accepted until Saturday’s departure.
The donations collected through social media solicitation ranged from paper products to baby formula to notebooks. The drive to collect and ship the goods was organized by Heafner Motors employees, according to Mark Heafner.
By Thursday the goods had filled one end of a conference room at the auto dealership. Local donors, including United Solutions of Sardis, the Panola County Sheriff’s Dept., Buffy’s on the Square, the Mississippi Dept. of Transportation, Heafner and Hallmark Motors and their employees and many individuals contributed, according to Heafner Motors spokesperson Jennifer Heafner.
The list of items needed by storm victims is lengthy and includes the spectrum of consumable household and personal products: baby food, bug spray, paper goods and feminine products, large trash bags, bath towels and other cloth towels, coloring books and colors, small flashlights and batteries, clothes, stuffed animals, according to Heafner, Angel Chambers, Shelbie Moss and Miranda Citrone who were organizing the goods for loading.
“One man who had been in Katrina brought notebooks,” Chambers said. “He said, ‘you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find something to write on.’”
The list of items needed by storm victims grows so long when donors try to put themselves in the storm victims’ place that it is perhaps more useful to list what is not needed: nothing glass, breakable, perishable, flammable and no sharp objects.
For more information about donating at Heafner Motors call 563-7631 or Adam at Pipeliners of America at 662-654-9576.
Other hurricane relief collection efforts materialized quickly throughout Panola County by mid-week.
Hygiene and cleaning items are being collected by the Sardis Chamber of Commerce at Justeezin Salon on Main Street. Contact Jan at Justeezin 662-487-3920 for information on the Chamber of Commerce project.
At the Flower Company in Batesville, 129 Public Square, owner Katherine Black is planning to send a load of donated supplies to Texas. She’s inviting people in Batesville to drop off donated items there.
Children at Jesus Loves Me Daycare children are contributing donations.
Groovy’s Garage is also accepting donations through the Wounded Warrior Project. Contact Heath McGovern, 662-934-0029 for information about donating there.