Florida Freedom collects thousands of items for tornado victims

By: News Email
By: News Email

Panama City-- So many relief efforts have been made since the tornado disaster devastated communities in Alabama. From the local Red Cross to area churches, many have pitched in to help.

Florida Freedom, which owns the news herald here in Panama City, and a number of other papers here in the panhandle pooled its resources together to help the victims, too.

For the past couple of weeks, panhandle residents dropped off thousands of items at the different newspaper offices. Sunday, a handful of employees volunteered their time to sort through the donations and load them onto an 18-wheeler headed for Birmingham, Alabama.

Regional Operations Director of Florida Freedom, Ron Smith, organized the drive. He says he felt compelled to pay it forward.

"I was here through hurricane Opal and was flooded out in it and so some folks helped us and it's nice to be able to pay it back," said Smith.

Florida Freedom donated the use of their semi-truck and the gas to get all of the donations to Alabama.

The truck is leaving at 4 a.m. Monday and will drop everything off at the Salvation Army warehouse for distribution.

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