Panhandle Strong Storm Relief Fund

GOFUNDME REQUIRED INFORMATION

1. Who am I and where I'm from.

My name is Carly Barnes Dodd, and I am originally from Jackson County, Florida. I now reside in Gainesville, Florida. My family has been in Jackson County for several generations, and I have deep ties to the local community. This is why I am raising funds for hurricane relief in this region.

2. Your relationship or contact to the parties you're raising funds for.

The parties I am raising funds for are family, friends, neighbors, and community members in need, most of whom I know personally.

3. How the funds will be spent (be specific as possible).

The funds will be spent purchasing hurricane relief needs, including fuel, food, housing accommodations for those who have lost their homes, construction supplies (tarps, etc.), equipment rentals, and any other supply needs that are indicated as not being served by other nonprofit and relief groups in rural communities.

4. Your withdrawal plan to get the funds from the campaign to the ultimate beneficiary or beneficiaries. 

As funds are withdrawn, I will apply the funds directly to expenses and supply purchases, and deliver all supplies in coordination with local contacts and officials in Jackson County and adjacent areas.

STORY

On Wednesday, October 10, I sat in my office and watched 100+ mph winds barrel over my family's home in rural Jackson County, Florida. 

Three days to prepare for what they thought would be a Category 1 storm. Three days. Three days for the entire Panhandle of Florida to prepare for a "mild" hurricane that would slam into the coast at a monster Category 4 storm.

The coast is devastated. Our rural communities are devastated. Our infrastructure is devastated. The eye of this storm was 30 miles wide.

Days later, everyone is still in shock. Government aid and nonprofit relief are flowing into the coastal areas that suffered the most damage. We've still got people stuck in their homes 60 miles inland, with no sign of power being turned back on or schools back in session until November.

Damage like this in any area is absolutely heart wrenching. Damage like this across an entire region is almost unfathomable.

Enough about the storm. Let me tell you about the people who endured it.

Most of the people in the path of this storm are of humble means and have been for generations. Many of the people in the path of this storm have lived in their homes for generations. These are your farmers, policemen, linemen and electrical workers, teachers, volunteer firemen, neighbors, and friends. These are people who have lost roofs, entire homes, and then have ventured into the aftermath to rescue other members of the community from their properties.

There aren't a lot of places left like the Florida Panhandle, with romantic downtowns and pristine natural resources. There aren't a lot of people left like the folks who live, work, and care for northwest Florida - who wave at cars passing by, smile and say hello, and are generally helpful and kind people to everyone.

We could all learn a lot from these communities. Most people may not have much in the material, but they are so abundantly rich in the things that matter.

Right now, they need your help with basic needs. We need water, batteries, food, tarps, ropes, extension cords, power strips, sanitary supplies, and more. Your donation will go directly toward to the hard costs of acquiring and delivering supplies from all over the state. All of our team members are volunteers.

Until we are finished with developing our nonprofit, I will be personally withdrawing funds to purchase supplies. 

We are currently moving resources into Jackson County, Florida, but as we receive help from more volunteers, we will be working in more counties. You can follow this program at www.panhandlestrong.org.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. Thank you for donating.

xoxo,
Carly
One Grateful Panhandle Native

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Organizer

Carly Barnes Dodd 
Organizer
Gainesville, FL
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