NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) — Several Florida cities are left in ruin after Hurricane Ian barreled through, but North Port Florida victims will soon see some relief.
Northport, Alabama mayor, Bobby Herndon, is leading his community in collecting donations for the victims. His volunteer work with disaster relief traces back to 2011. One of his initial relief trips to Louisiana sparked a new lifelong calling.
“I realized why I was there at that particular time at that particular spot-why we were there,” Herndon said. “You never know who you’re going to help that’s going to help you.”
This is now their 12th relief trip. Herndon says over the years, thousands of people have come through 28th street in Northport to donate, walking the way of benevolence.
He says the city council is in the process of renaming the street ‘Benevolence Way’ in honor of all those who have come by the past 11 years to make donations for those in need.
Debbie Kendrick is one of those donators. Kendrick says she is always happy to give back.
“And it’s just important for us to love on people and tell them how important they are and that they’re loved,” Kendrick said. “That’s the start of our witness to tell of Jesus’ love is to do that.”
In this trip, Herndon says they will bring up to four trailers worth of supplies including water, non-perishable foods, paper products and hygiene products. He says you can never give too much.
“If they’re in need, help them,” Herndon said. “If we’re in need, they’ll help us. And so, you know, it’s a ministry in a way. It’s a mission, but most of all it’s just being human- human feelings, human emotions. We cry when they cry. We hurt when they hurt. We’re joyed when they’re joyed.”
Herndon says he and his team plan to deliver all donations Wednesday morning. More donations will be accepted through Tuesday.