Local effort will aid Florida hurricane victims


Lorain County Blue Foundation, a law enforcement nonprofit group, and Statement Limousine of Sheffield Village are helping an emergency management team in Florida to get sorely-needed basic necessities to victims of Hurricane Irma.

Avon police officer Chris Barton who has led Blue Foundation since its inception in 2012 said it was an easy, “Yes!” when Statement Limousine owner Carl Guenther contacted the group about sponsoring a community-wide effort to fill a semi-truck with items needed by storm victims.

Barton said the effort has been pulled together quickly but, in the few days since the storm ravaged Florida, Guenther secured donations to pay for the semi and he has begun promoting ways the community can help.

The following items are most needed because so many have lost everything and need the very basics to survive:
tupperware – large containers
can openers,
LED flashlights,
plastic utensils,
paper towels,
zip lock bags,
antibacterial wipes,
battery paks,
bug repellent,
sun screen,
work gloves,
safety glasses,
nonperishable food items,
small cooking pots and pans,
camp stoves with propane,
air mattresses,
12 x 12 tarps,
LED camp lights
personal care items including soap, shampoo, tooth paste and brushes, deodorant, clean wash cloths and towels, combs, brushes.

No clothing will be accepted.

Residents are asked to pre-sort items because they will be placed in containers, then onto pallets to make it easier to pack and unload the truck. If possible, donated items should be placed in see-through plastic containers, zip lock or plastic shopping bags.

The big push will be 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept, 23, at Heritage Christian Church, 36465 Chester Road, Avon.

However, Barton said residents can drop off items on the list at the following locations through Sept. 25, at designated times: VFW Post 7035, 36950 Mills Rd, Avon, 2-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; Statement Limousine Services, 3747 Colorado Ave, Sheffield Village, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. In addition, the Elyria Police Department, 18 West Ave., Elyria, will accept listed items 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today through Fri., Sept. 22.

Cash donations will be accepted and used solely to purchase items on the list, said Barton, who emphasized Lorain County Blue Foundation will donate all money to purchase items needed by victims. “We are donating $500 as well,” he said.

Barton said he expects the semi to head to Florida sometime the week of Sept. 25.

Anyone with questions or who would like to volunteer or donate may email Barton at cbarton@avonpd.com or phone him at 216-407-6990.

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