Family once displaced by Hurricane Michael plans to feed homeless in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Tallahassee family that was displaced after a huge tree fell through their home in Hurricane Michael is still picking up the pieces in their lives.

But in the midst of their recovery, they’re thinking of others.

Back in October, Alexiss Grimes showed the items she’d collected for the homeless. The items were destroyed because of the hurricane.

Now, she had a new collection of items.

Grimes is accepting donations of personal hygiene items, clothes, coats and blankets.

Her family will give the items to the homeless and those in need.

The care packages will be handed out at the same time as a nice, hot, home-cooked meal.

Grimes says this was something her grandmother did many years ago.

She picked up the tradition five years ago.

This year is no exception for her, even with the setback of Hurricane Michael.

She said, “They be so happy. Some of them cry. Some of them say, I don’t know when they’re going to eat, but by you coming in feeding us, that’s a blessing to them. Some of them just want you to pray with them, too, also. It’s a blessing to just feed the homeless in our community.”

The event will be held Wednesday, December 26 from 2 to 5 p.m.

There has been a location change. Instead of Lake Ella, it will be at New Birth Tabernacle of Praise at 1200 Harlem Street in Tallahassee.

ITEMS REQUESTED

  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Was cloths
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouth wash
  • Sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Wipes
  • Tissue
  • Chapstick
  • Hair combs
  • Shampoo
  • Chewing gum
  • Socks

Gently used clothes and coats are also requested.

Grimes says they fed 55 people and gave 65 hygiene bags last year.

This year, she says her goal is 200 people because she wants to also include hurricane victims displaced out of Panama City.

As for the Grimes family, with the help of their daughter’s teacher, and community members, the family now has a three bedroom apartment they can call home.

It wasn’t just the deadly force that made Hurricane Florence a global story, but its sheer size and strength struck fear into people everywhere.

Those watching it from their TV screens can recall terrifying scenes of people evacuating as floods and torrential rain set in.

For those on the ground the reality was hellish.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 15, sustaining a maximum windspeed of 145km/hr, causing a huge storm surge and widespread flooding.

As far as storms went, Florence was a monster with tropical-force winds extending out up to 280 kilometres from its centre.

When Florence hit, it was as bad as expected and was one of the biggest storms to hit the Carolinas in years.

Whole communities were left devastated, power was cut to hundreds of thousands of homes and many people were left fearing for their lives.

“Trees were down, power lines were strewn across roads. We had to try dozens of routes to go half a kilometre.”

The monster storm, which reached speeds of 220km/h, not only claimed 55 lives but caused a staggering $17.bn in damage.

Among the victims included a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Evacuations centres turned into temporary homes and other properties were boarded up, while those affected anxiously waited for the storm to die down.

Shops were left emptied as people stocked up on essentials and petrol bowers were left bone dry and streets were deserted.

Entire coastlines were left decimated after the storm hit with pets, marine life and wildlife all falling victim to Florence’s fury.

Updated: April 19, 2019 — 5:10 pm

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