Orange County businesses, nonprofits help Hurricane Ian victims

Florida officials said the powerful storm made parts of the state “uninhabitable.”

ORANGE COUNTY, TX — A business and nonprofit organization in Orange County is partnering and asking the community to help them so they can help those impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm, described as one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S.

Officials in Florida said the powerful storm made parts of the state “uninhabitable”, left hundreds of thousands of people without power and claimed more than 70 lives.

Top Deck is working with the Morrisville Heritage Society to do what it can to help Ian’s victims. The company and nonprofit will accept donations by Friday, October 7, 2022, and hope to arrive in Central Florida by Sunday, October 9, 2022.

Donations can be mailed at Top Deck Inc. Located at 10861 Route 62 in Orange.

JW Dalton is the CEO of Top Deck Inc. and Chris Sowell is the President of the Morrisville Heritage Society. Both agree that Southeast Texans know the devastation and devastation a major hurricane can bring.

“In Morrisville, we understand what those people are going through, being flooded twice here,” Dalton said.

Sowell believes that when the storm does affect the Lone Star State and its residents, communities from across the country reach out.

“It could easily be us,” Sowell said. “You know, I hated it going to Florida, but he could have come here easily. We’ve seen it here firsthand. The cleanup process would have been much more difficult if it weren’t for support from other communities, other unaffected areas. “

Dalton and Sowell planned to travel to Florida by Wednesday, but the deadline was extended.

“We just wanted to get everyone involved,” Dalton said. “We’re trying to bring enough material here to be ready for Friday.”

Southeast Texans can donate many items to support this cause.

“We’re trying to get food for immortality,” Dalton said. “We’re trying to put together toiletries, even adult diapers. Toothbrushes, toilet paper. Just, you know, the basics, baby food, dog food.”

They also encourage people to donate cleaning supplies.

“One of the things we’ve learned from all the floods and hurricanes we’ve been through here is that you can never have too much bleach and trash bags,” Sowell said. “Because after something like this, the cleanup process is very extensive.”

So far, the trailer they brought to Florida is about a quarter full.

“We just put enough in there and load the trailer there,” Dalton said.

The two agreed that donating supplies would help struggling Floridians more than donating money.

“One of the problems is that for the people there, there’s nowhere to buy things,” Sowell said. “If you bring them money, it’s harder for them to use it to buy anything. So, it’s easier for us to get the money here and give it to them.”

But if all someone can offer is a monetary donation, they’ll take it.

“It would be great if we could get those supplies,” Dalton said. “If we can’t get supplies from someone and they want to give us money, donate money, then we go and buy supplies locally.”

No matter what one person can give, Dalton and Sowell are just encouraging everyone to give.

“Come out and support the cause. People need help,” Sowell said.

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