The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Business owners collecting for hurricane relief


October 14, 2018

PORTALES — Scarce as water may be in eastern New Mexico, there’s an even more pressing need for it currently in the portions of Florida impacted by Hurricane Michael. For a couple of business owners in Portales, that’s reason enough to mobilize.

“It doesn’t matter where it comes from,” said Garth Stockard. “Whatever little bit we can do, we’ll do.”

Stockard started Thursday in collecting supplies to bring this week to the peninsular coast, where he has a home and heard first-hand from his wife there as to some of the devastation.

He and his wife Julie are “working with a group of churches in Crestview, Florida, called Convoy of Hope” and will be “distributing directly to Marianna, Florida, residents through local churches there,” according to a message Friday from Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karl Terry.

Stockard told The News on Friday evening that some donations had already come in and he’s waiting for others while trying to spread the word; whether he fills a trailer of 10 feet or 28 feet, or multiple trailers, depends on how much material arrives before he takes off on Wednesday morning.

They are looking foremost for water, but really “all the basics, just about anything you can think of to help you get through the day,” Stockard said.

That could also include “diapers, wipes, formula, baby bottles, feminine products, cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, trash bags, non perishable food items or anything else,” Terry said.

“This is unprecedented as far as I know. I have never seen anything like it,” Stockard said of descriptions and visuals he’d received of the damage. “I know there’s a lot of displaced families that are going to need a lot of stuff and support.”

Stockard said he’s never been through a major disaster himself, but his wife has seen plenty of hurricanes in Florida and “knows first hand what it’s like.

“We see other people hurting and we feel like we need to do something,” he said. “Right now, everything (the affected residents) had is in a pile of rubble in the middle of the street, on the beach or wherever. It is just bad. It is worse than the damage from an F5 tornado.”

That’s not all, either. Stockard said anyone also heading that way to help can reach out to him or his wife for a place to rest, shower or eat in Florida.


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