PITTSBURG — Staff at The Morning Sun and community volunteers spent Friday unloading, sorting and reloading donations received for Hurricane Harvey relief.
Last week, The Morning Sun teamed up with its sister publication, The Independence Daily Reporter, to gather donations of clothings, cleaning supplies, food, water and more for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
“Our original plan was to fill one box truck,” Morning Sun Publisher Jamey Honeycutt said. “This started with one article in the paper and the turnout has been amazing.”
Honeycutt said staff filled 24 pallets, stacked as high as possible, with sorted donations Friday. He said the donations would fill a tractor-trailer bed from end to end. Independence saw similar results.
"To get all the supplies that now will our warehouse and loading dock would take much more than our donated box truck,” Honeycutt said. “We need an 18 wheeler."
The Morning Sun will be reaching out to area trucking lines on Monday to hopefully find a partner to move the much needed items to Dallas where they are housing 5,000 displaced hurricane victims from Houston and other areas on the Gulf Coast.
"I am humbled by the outpouring of support from the community,” Honeycutt said. “The readers of the newspaper are some of the most generous people I have ever met."
Among those donating was Raider Ink from Frontenac High School. The school-based business gives students an opportunity to screen print t-shirts, banners and more for schools and community events. The class often uses the money it raises to give back — and on Friday it did in a big way.
Raider Ink donated approximately 2,500 youth t-shirts to be sent with relief supplies.
The shirts were given to Raider Ink last semester by Pittsburg State University, which couldn’t use them. Part of the agreement is that Raider Ink would give them away for free.
“We were going to use them for community events and give them away,” Frontenac Technology Teacher Eric Gudde said. “But when we heard about this, we thought it would be a great way to help out.”
Gudde said when Harvey hit, Raider Ink began looking for a way to help, but didn’t have a connection to get donations to the people who needed them. The Morning Sun wasn’t the only connection he found, though. Gudde said he got into contact with a school counselor from Houston, and Raider Ink is planning to sponsor the school whenever they restart classes.
People and organizations from all over the community donated what they could, bringing everything from diapers to dog food.
“The generosity has just been unreal,” Honeycutt said.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.