Polk County residents donate to Harvey victims

Lake Wales has rounded up two truckloads of donations for Harvey victims.

A lot of people across Tampa Bay are doing what they can to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. One small city in Polk County is sending two truckloads of donations to Texas this weekend.

The American Legion post in Lake Wales was a little chaotic Thursday afternoon, as volunteers sorted through hundreds of donations. As they did that, even more donations came pouring in. 

Most of the people dropping off donations didn’t know anyone in Houston. They'd just seen video of the catastrophic flooding.

“We thought just a little donation would help if everybody just pitched in,” Bob Boyer said.

People in Lake Wales know what it's like to endure a major hurricane.

Kat Gates-Skipper is leading the collection this time, but in 2004 she was on the other end, relying on donations. Hurricane Charlie ripped off part of her home's roof and chimney.

“Being military, you think you're prepared for anything, but sometimes natural disasters, you're not prepared for that,” she said.

“Somebody's always worse off than you are,” she said. “If you're able to do something, do it.”

Lake Wales is a community where people know what it's like to rebuild; Now, they're helping another do the same.

Gates-Skipper said they plan to get the donations to Houston by early next week. They need to get them to the Orlando area first, but they’ve received so many donations, they have too much stuff for one truck. They're hoping someone can let them borrow one.

If you can help, or you’d like to donate, you can contact Gates-Skipper at (863) 207-4200.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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