Kansas Pitts for Hurricane Michael

My husband couldn't talk when he first pulled up at his childhood home in Panama City after it taking him 6 hours to get there (an hour drive at its longest normally) just after the storm. His parents just having arrived, his dad sitting in a chair in what used to be the front yard just not even knowing where to start. 

Since Hurricane Michael ravished the beach towns to the East of us (barely missing our beloved South Walton) I myself have felt almost frozen. We stayed and prepared heavily. We didn't need any of it but it could have gone such a different way and decimated our little beach town. I am lucky, I felt guilty. But this isn't about me. I am blessed, I was spared but I can see with my own eyes that a LOT of people were not. Family, friends, some of MY clients, and people I don't even know and I don't need to know them to know but they all NEED. No one was prepared for this type of destruction. 

Tonight I heard an EOC official from Bay County (Panama City) saying that there are somewhere around 37,000 residents and he estimates that 85-90% of their homes are beyond repair. Can you even imagine...let those numbers sink in. Not only are their homes gone, but a lot of their schools, their businesses, the places they shop, they eat, they worship, hospitals...gone. It will take months, years to rebuild and most areas with their majestic oaks and gorgeous canopies will never be the same.

Imagine being pregnant having prepared your nursery and shopped and decorated and prepared everything for your sweet little love...then coming home and not only is your nursery gone but the doctors office you get seen in is gone, without power for possibly months, and the hospital you planned to give birth in is closed and damaged so much that it is quite possible that it won't open for months.

Imagine having paid your home off and fell on hard times so your homeowners insurance was one of the things you had to cut and your home is gone. You have to start from scratch.

Imagine walking down a street with your luggage because there is no way a car is getting in and not being able to tell which house is yours because the trees and power lines are everywhere, your kids toys scattered, pictures you left because you really didn't think it was going to be this bad all ruined, memories gone especially of those lost long ago. Drawings your children made that were tucked safely in your night stand strewn about, maybe moms with flash drives full of pictures of years past finding them in a muddle of water.

Imagine being trapped in your home for hours and you can't call 911  because it doesn't even work right now. Updates are hard to come by because local television news stations are down, local radio stations down, you just wait. National Guard is going home to home to find those trapped. Imagine being those guys having to find some of the things they find.

I took a shower tonight, in my air conditioned house with power and then my husband told me that he saw no less than what looked like a hundred people bathing in Deer Point Lake near the dam. I can't be frozen anymore. I am only one person but I can do something. Something is better than nothing and I have a local business that has been consistently supported by amazing clients and other photographers and momographers and just nice people and I know that you guys will help. We all feel helpless but a little goes a long way especially with reach on social media and I am hoping you guys will help me, help others and be a part of the recovery of our beautiful beach towns (and their northern counterparts :)  

There are a million amazing things going on around here-I don't know what is being broadcast on national news because I haven't been watching, except that I saw the nightly news with Lester Holt last night and they spent maybe 5 minutes on the Hurricane and focused in on the worst areas with the worst images for ratings of course but they aren't telling you the whole truth...Panama City looks like a war zone...BUT those of you on Facebook have seen the amazing things that our local communities are doing...trucks being loaded with supplies and driven to Panama City, men with tools going just to help because they have to in their hearts (my husband and cousins husband and brother and aunt and uncle and tomorrow, my kids and I), restaurants and businesses giving away food and services,  linemen leaving their families and coming from states everywhere, and I mean the dang Cajun Navy is the most amazing thing I have ever heard of.

I don't want to be frozen anymore...I want us to be a part of this amazing community movement to empower one another...to help them come back stronger. And I want your help...I don't care if its $5 and a share on Facebook or Instagram...I don't care if you want to Amazon Prime me diapers, wipes, contact solution, tampons (I mean have you even thought of that?! I bought many packs of ladies underwear at Walmart tonight to take over there; it's crazy what we take for granted.)...anything and everything will help. These donations will go to LOCAL charities supporting families and children and to locals families...join me and be a part of rebuilding some of the places and beach communities we all love and cherish.

With Much Love,
Kansas
Kansas Pitts Photography & Design
Philanthropy Through Photography (by Kansas Pitts), Inc. *
kansaspitts.com 
[email redacted] with questions

P.S. I used the image of Presley that I took prior to the storm because it is eye catching and I want as many people to see this as possible. I know your feeds have been inundated with the devastation so you know how bad it is...I don't need to show you much of that but please take a moment and consider sharing and donating. I promise I will get it to those who need it most <3 <3 <3

P.S.S. Once all you guys over that way...Panama City, Mexico Beach, Apalah, etc. get back on your feet and you need to replace those family images I will find some way to give you guys some very special memories. 

If you need to see some of what I am talking about here are some visuals: 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/before-and-after-images-of-hurricane-michael-destruction/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a94e9ec80cfd

https://weather.com/photos/news/2018-10-12-hurricane-michael-before-and-after-satellite-photos

*(pending application 301(c))

Updated 10/16/18 @ 1:01 PM CST

Who you are and where you’re from? I am Kansas Pitts, a local photographer from Santa Rosa Beach, just east of the cities hit by Hurricane Michael (my husbands entire family was directly affected as well as past clients of mine).
Your relationship or contact to the parties you're raising funds for? I am raising money to purchase supplies for churches to hand out. Specifically I have taken the first load to the only location Fountain, Florida has to give out donations (they are 24 miles up 231 from any supples) - the Victory Tabernacle was accepting and giving out donations and supplies, 18801 US Hwy 231, Fountain, Florida. I plan to return to this church with more supplies once the funds have been released.
How the funds will be spent (be specific as possible. If you will be reimbursing yourself for money personally spent, please clarify this in your story): I specially went ahead and purchased items once the fundraising began not realizing that it would not be an instant transfer for yes I will be reimbursing myself for receipts I have in hand and then spending the balance. The items I have purchased and delivered are as follows (and pictures are in my feed):
That is where your donations went today. If you are I. That area or know if anyone who is and is in need of any of the following, this is what we dropped off:

1. Baby formula- both premixed in individual
Bottles as well as powder and we got the AR and the gentlease and the regular because I know some babies have special needs.
2. Baby wipes-tons both for babies and mommies. I know water and showers aren’t easily accessible now.
3. Diapers and pull-ups of every single size.
4. Tons of toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste.
5. Tons of deodorant.
6. Dry shampoo
7. Sunscreen
8. Chapstick
9. Tampons/feminine products
10. Bars of soap
11. Women’s underwear
12. 6-12 months boys clothing
13. Crystal light and koolaid individual powder packets for water flavoring
14. Kids board games
15. Tons of adult Tylenol and ibuprofen
16. First aid kits
17. Boxes of bandaids
18. Kids Tylenol and ibuprofen
19. Tubes of neosporin
20. Lotion
21. Mouthwash
22. Kids snacks/mini boxes of cereal

I think that’s it! Share this with anyone you think might need any of this in that area or do you are in the area and know that someone needs it and can’t get to it, pick some up and take it to them

All this and more that others have donated like waters, Gatorade, etc etc etc can be found at

Fountain's Victory Tabernacle
18801 US 231
Fountain, Florida

It’s hard to see because it’s a small building and their sign is gone but I think there was a plywood sign - between dollar general and piggly wiggly express.

They were singing Amazing Grace as we started to unload our car y’all. Stopped me in my tracks. I had to take a video - it’s in the comments.

Your withdrawal plan to get the funds from the campaign to the ultimate beneficiary/ies: I have purchased supplies and donated them. Will do the same with the balance.

Donations

  • Cara Walen 
    • $100 
    • 20 mos
  • Heather Kidd 
    • $100 
    • 20 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $300 
    • 20 mos
  • Laura Permenter 
    • $50 
    • 20 mos
  • Tabatha Obeirne 
    • $25 
    • 20 mos
See all

Organizer

Kansas Burke Pitts 
Organizer
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
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