Tropical Weather Florida

Ana Kapel walks through what is left of the Times Square area near the Lynn Hall Pier on the island of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, as a Category 4 hurricane on the southwest coast of Florida.

Because of his giving nature, Jerry Gore of West Columbia was honored as Citizen of the Year by The Facts in September. After natural disasters in Louisiana and Kentucky, he saw people desperate for help so he asked his friends and neighbors for donations. Then he drove truckloads of goods to those stricken areas.

This week he’s taking up money and supplies for Hurricane Ian victims in Florida.

The central section of the Sunshine State took the brunt of high-end, Category 4 Hurricane Ian on Sept. 28-29. Millions lost power, bridges collapsed, roads washed away and numerous counties were declared disaster areas.

Gore has a heart for people who live in small towns. West Columbia has endured several flooding events and hurricanes in the recent past.

“We generally go to small towns that need help, because, as you know, the small towns don’t get any help when stuff like this happens,” Gore said.

The public is asked to help Gore help Florida by donating the following:

• money

• tarps

• generators

• non-perishable food

• pet food

• flashlights

• portable propane stoves

He is taking donations through noon Friday at Farmers Insurance, 108 W. Myrtle St., Angleton, and Iglesia Centro Cristiano, 114 S. Columbia Drive, West Columbia.

“It takes a lot of money to do this because we have to rent a U-Haul truck, and they’re not cheap,” he said. “We may have to rent two of them. It depends on how much we get.”

Gore and his family will load up a rented U-Haul truck and take turns driving straight through to Florida. Once there, he said they will drive until they find a small town that hasn’t been helped yet.

“A lot of times we hook up with a small church,” he said. “So we will set up in a parking lot. We never ever will just drop stuff off and leave. The better part is to sit there and hand stuff out ourselves.”

Have questions or want to help? Call Gore at 979-331-4756.

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