TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – An army of volunteers and Salvation Army workers are leaving Tampa for the east coast of Florida, taking water and other supplies to the hurricane-ravaged region.
The organization’s main warehouse is in Tampa, and that’s where relief efforts are being coordinated. One truck filled with supplies left Friday night; another is slated to leave Saturday morning.
Major David Erickson says officials are still deciding where exactly to send the supplies. “Right now, we’re just inside watching the news in Jacksonville. We see that it’s still experiencing the storm. So it’s still unknown really what the exact need is up there but we’re trying to get that initial shipment up there,” Erikson said.
Jerry Stickney is coordinating logistics at the warehouse and has an interesting story behind his employment.
“For me, there is a sense of feeling good. I know the Salvation Army was there for me when I was a child and my family,” Stickney said.
He says the organization’s social services helped his family out in their time of need. He’s now working to figure out where the supplies are needed the most.
“We expected the storm to heavily hit Brevard County and Vero Beach area. Didn’t hit it as heavy as expected, which is a great thing. But now we’re kind of shifting our planning from inputting a bunch of our resources down there and seeing what we can do to alleviate now. Jacksonville seems to be getting hit pretty hard,” Stickney said.
Captain Andy Miller is the administrator for the Salvation Army in Tampa and Hillsborough County. “We are honored to help provide comfort and relieve some stress by providing a warm meal as our friends from the east seek safety,” Miller said.
The Salvation Army is also sending 31 mobile feeding units to the hardest-hit areas.