They have received word that their home was badly damaged; trees are down, fence has blown away, pool, grill and the kids’ playhouse are all in shambles. The roof has sustained heavy damage and has caved in, leaving her son’s room destroyed. The insurance company won’t find someone to tarp the home or issue any emergency funds.
Heather is a mother of three amazing children - in kindergarten, 3rd & 5th grade - in Bay County where school is closed indefinitely. Her husband Justin is an Officer in the Air Force & a war veteran. His squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base was also destroyed. They were evacuated to Mississippi with a 13 yr old beagle, a 14 yr old terrier & 3 cats. They are staying in a hotel with one suitcase for their family of 5!
Heather & her children have lived in lots of places with Justin's military career. No matter where they call home, Heather gets involved with her community, teaching her kids to give back & making a difference for their neighboring military families and homeless pets, looking for forever families. Heather & her kids volunteer with local animal rescues, and take their TNR cats to Operation Spay Bay in Lynn Haven, which was also damaged by the storm.
Heather and her team, run a pending non profit SPCAT, and they currently have 3 cats in foster homes that need help!
They give their time catching stray cats, seeking medical treatment for them & practice TNR (trapping, neutering & returning) of feral cats in their community. Heather also donates a huge portion of her art proceeds to charity.
Lynn Haven has no power & no water. Buildings on Main Street were flooded, blown away or washed away. Roads were destroyed. Children & families have no idea when they will be able to rebuild their homes, return to their jobs or see their friends at school again.
Heather had a prayer tree in her backyard. She painted a heart on it. She & her children wrote their prayers on its fallen leaves & piled them at the base of the trunk. Like so many trees in Lynn Haven, her prayer tree was destroyed. Its mighty trunk was toppled & uprooted...
They recently spent 4 days painting her sons' bedroom & renovating their master bedroom. The boys got new bunk beds & now, their brand new "big boy room" is in shambles. A missing roof, wet drywall & wet insulation decorates the room now.
Please donate what you can to help Heather's family, to help the military families on Tyndall Air Force Base & the animal shelters in Lynn Haven. I know that Heather will ensure that all funds are distributed where they are most needed - bottled water, food, clothing, toiletries, pet supplies, etc. Here's a link to Heather's Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/heather.m.podnar. You can see more photos of the destruction in her community, follow her adventures & see what an amazing person she is.
Did I mention she's also a melanoma survivor? She's had 21 surgeries + radiation & topical chemo to remove melanomas from her legs, her back, her face, her arms... yet, no matter WHAT challenges life throws her way, she ALWAYS finds a way to give more to others; to nurture her children; to love stray animals.
NOW is the time to give back to HER. NOW is the time to help Heather, her 3 children, her husband, the military families they live with, the stray pets in Lynn Haven & the entire community. PLEASE give what you can! THANK YOU!!!
(My name is Shevawn Akers. I live in Lexington, KY. I went to high school with Heather. I set up this GoFundMe because I feel helpless in Ky & want to help. I have added her as a team member on this account. She will be withdrawing all funds raised & spend them helping her community of Lynn Haven.)
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