PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — After devastating damage in Louisiana, Northwest Florida organizations are coming together to help their neighbors to the west.
Upper Room Church in Pensacola Beach is collecting funding for the disaster relief nonprofit Convoy of Hope and plans to send volunteers to help however they can.
Church members there know what it’s like to go through tropical weather.
“We’re still drinking waters from Hurricane Sally,” said worship director Kaitlyn Pooley. “We’ll be doing demolition, rebuilding, cleaning, repairing — things like that,” she said.
Last year, their church on Pensacola Beach was damaged during Sally, and they remember when groups came to their aid.
“Having experienced that, we want to be able to do that for other churches and communities around us who may be suffering and experiencing that loss as well,” Pooley said.
The church also plans on sending teams of volunteers to help however they can.
The local Northwest Florida chapter of the American Red Cross has boots on the ground in Louisiana now, with an emergency response vehicle from the chapter providing relief.
“They’ll be a kitchen set up. They’ll get food from the kitchen and take it out into the neighborhood,” said Jerry Kindle, executive director of the Northwest Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross. “As you can imagine without power, that’s very critical right now.”
There are more than a dozen Red Cross volunteers from Northwest Florida across the Gulf coast helping at this time, Kindle said.
He says he doesn’t expect the Red Cross to leave Louisiana for at least the next four months.
“It’s really neighbors helping neighbors. Doing the right thing there.” Kindle said. “Here on the Gulf Coast, there’s no stranger to disaster. We have people come help us when — like last year when it was Sally, so now we’re going to go help.”