The Forgotten Coast will never be the same after Hurricane Michael.
That much we know to be true, because when the third most-powerful hurricane to ever hit the U.S. came ashore on Oct. 10, it eviscerated entire areas, including Mexico Beach, which was nearly destroyed. At least 35 people lost their lives in Florida alone, with 10 more perishing in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia when it moved northeast.
But one thing those of us who live on, and visit, the Forgotten Coast have always known is that we take care of our own. And there is no shortage of need, so when someone asks, “How can I help?” the goal is to always have an answer.
Donations are the fastest, and easiest way to get help to those in need and there are several trusted organizations accepting contributions and serving families in the hardest-hit areas. All accept donations via phone or web. Participating organizations include:
Franklin’s Promise Coalition: https://franklinspromisecoalition.wildapricot.org/Make-a-Donation
Volunteer Florida: https://www.volunteerflorida.org/emergency-management/#partners
For locals, who are in driving distance of donation drop-off locations, the items universally needed across the coast are:
- paper towels
- toilet paper
- latex gloves
- gas cans
- box fans
- bottled water
- hand sanitizer
- personal hygiene items
- first aid kits
- baby wipes
- manual can openers
- non-perishable, canned food including canned tuna, chicken or salmon, meals in a can (soup, stew, chili), and canned fruit in its own juice or water. Those with pop-up lids are best.