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Wellman Group Travels to Florida for Hurricane Irma Relief

Posted: Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 at 6:28 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

As Hurricane Irma was causing catastrophic damage, a Wellman resident decided she wanted to do more than just hear about the devastation happening on the east coast.

Sarah Counter started planning on September 10 to travel to Florida to provide aid to those affected by Irma. A former Florida resident, Counter empathizes with those struck by the storm, “When I lived in Florida in 2004 I went through three hurricanes: I sat through one, I evacuated from one, and moved back to Iowa before the third. I know what it’s like to sit through a hurricane, I know the devastation. You lose time at work, you sit without electricity sometimes for a week or two until it can get turned back on. The impact just on the family, is very hard.”

Counter and a group of four left Monday night for West Palm Beach, and will be spending the week helping with cleanup and providing whatever aid families need. Their stay will conclude Saturday, when they will be making burritos with a local church to pass out to the homeless. This trip has been a grassroots effort in the Wellman community, “We could not do it without the people who have supported us. We have raised a significant amount of money in seven days and I am completely shocked by it. I sit back and I think of all the things that have happened, finding a vehicle to take down there because my vehicle is not big enough, to the money, to finding the people that can get off work and go with us. I just am completely overwhelmed by the community support.”

An employee of Kalona Organics, Counter says the company plans on sending a truck with dairy products to food pantries in West Palm Beach, and Farmer’s Henhouse has partnered to donate eggs. Counter is also accepting donations of empty cans and bottles at her Wellman residence until September 23. Donations for Hurricane Irma relief can be left with Valorie Burnham at 708 3rd Street in Wellman, across from Freeman Foods.