Bay area donation drive to benefit Hurricane Harvey victims

CLEARWATER, Fla.  (WFLA) – As the cleanup continues in Houston and other parts of Texas, some victims are heading home while others still need a lot of help.  Some of that help is coming from here in the Tampa Bay area.

At Patio Lane and Awning Works on U.S. 19 in Clearwater on Friday from 7 a.m. through 4 p.m., the owners are asking people to donate diapers, baby supplies, sanitizer and non-perishable food items.  They also need clothing, bottled water, toiletries, blankets, pillows and pet food.

It’s just one of the many ways so many in the community are helping out.

“Because I wish I could be there to help,” said Kim Gaines of Pinellas Park as she arrived Friday morning to drop off her donations.  “If I was younger, I’d be there already.  Just to do whatever I could.”

Gaines may not be able to go to Houston but she did the next right thing.

“Just anything I could grab,” Gaines said.  “I ran out the door.”

Gaines did her part for the victims of Hurricane Harvey as recovery efforts begin in Houston and surrounding areas in Texas.

Gaines is one of the countless people helping out the victims in their time of need.

“It’s just, it’s just heartbreaking,” Wendy Schechner, one of the owners of Patio Lane told News Channel 8.

After seeing a friend’s Facebook post about driving a truck with donations to Houston, Wendy immediately knew what to do.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say that I’d like to donate but they don’t want to donate money,” Wendy said.  “They want someplace to bring something and know it’s going somewhere.”

As for Kim, she knows her donations will help others and she hopes someone would help her if it were her time of need.

“That could be us,” she told News Channel 8.  “I hope people realize.  That could be us.”

Now those sheriff’s office employees will be headed out to Houston.  The students will be headed out to Austin.  As for you, you can head out here to Patio Lawn and Awning Works.  They’ll be here until about 4 o’clock today to receive your donations.

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