DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — A large semi truck parked at Destin’s Marler Parking lot with 10 pallets of donated goods made its way south Wednesday night to a damaged Florida coast. Donation organizer Damien Callais spent this week down in the Hurricane Ian devastation.
“First of all, it is complete devastation, it’s incredible,” said Callais. “It just reminds me a lot of a, you know, the situation down in Katrina. Except that it actually to me looks like a lot more wind damage.”
When Callais isn’t helping on-site, he’s gathering donations for those affected by the hurricane. One way Callais receives help is from those in the Northwest Florida community.
Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa County governments are helping the event by spreading the word. Callais said local businesses are also pitching in with relief efforts. One hotel gave offered linens and towels while a real estate company donated pallets of water.
After receiving supplies from Destin, donors set up another truck in Fort Walton Beach at the City Hall Annex. Currently, the Fort Walton Beach site is the only place where residents can drop off items.
Items being collected:
- Cases of Bottled Water
- Baby Food & Formula
- Dry Diapers, all sizes
- Supplemental Food, Shakes (pre-made)
- Baby Wipes
- NEW Pillows, Blankets, Bedding
- Dry Goods Food
- Canned Goods
- Batteries, all sizes
- Pet Food- Dog & Cat
- Paper Towels & Toilet Paper
- First Aid Kits
- Non-Refrigerated Food
- Lighters & Matches
- Non-Electric Can Openers
- Paper Goods- Plates, Cups, Bowls, Napkins, Plastic Ware/Utensils
- Bug Spray
- Sanitizing Wipes
Residents can drop off items at the City Hall Annex at 107 Miracle Strip Parkway SW. The event will run through Sunday, Oct. 9. The next donation event will be held next week in Crestview.
Callais said if you can’t donate to the truck, volunteering is another way to help. Spending the week in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Naples, Callais said the extent is far and wide.
“I have friends that are just going down there right now just to serve food. I mean, you gotta realize they have nothing going on there right now. There’s no food, there’s no electricity,” said Callais.
The biggest need besides the donations is volunteers to work the sites. Anyone interested in helping load the trucks for shipment can contact Callais directly at 850-585-5295.