PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Foxwood Apartments in Panama City has 100 units total, and after Hurricane Michael, all 100 of those were uninhabitable.
Rachal Smoker and volunteers stuffed 100 boxes for every unit at Foxwood Apartments. (WJHG/WECP)
Brittany Pitts, a resident at Foxwood Apartments, said, "I was discharged from the hospital two days before the storm because I had had a baby, so he was five days old, we had to leave that night with nothing but our diaper bag because the roof came off of my house. I was displaced to the Carolinas and on February 1st came back to Bay County where I stayed at 'Tent City' with Mrs. Shelly."
Rachal Smoker, founder of Rachal's Recovery Relief, Inc. met Brittany Pitts while Pitts was living at tent city. Smoker and Pitts formed a friendship, which Smoker says lead her to want to help Foxwood residents as they moved back into their homes.
"I've taken a lot of requests from families in this neighborhood, and the thing that I kept hearing were that there were other organizations that were trying to help but couldn't make it happen, so we thought we'd take it another level and just provide each family with a box to help them along the way," said Smoker.
Smoker and other volunteers assembled and packed 100 boxes with food and supplies Wednesday for every family in the apartments.
"It's been almost a year, every single one of these families lost almost everything in this hurricane, moving back in with no furniture and sleeping on floors, and having to provide food and supplies for their family, it's a huge expense," said Smoker.
Pitts was overwhelmed with emotion as she watched Smoker pass out supplies to everyone in her community.
"It means a lot, and honestly, it can't be verbalized how it makes, at least myself feel, for people to take their own time, and their money, and their dedication, and just as many people to stand behind them as they can to continue to help almost a year later it's just... you just can't compare that to anything else," said Pitts while tears rolled down her cheeks.
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