Lenexa group prepares to send aid to hurricane victims

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Hurricane Florence moved closer to land on Wednesday, teams in the metro prepared to send volunteers and resources to help out those in possible need later this week.

At the Heart to Heart International headquarters in Lenexa, volunteers packed hygiene kits filled with towels, Band-Aids, shampoo, and other items.

Pallets of the hygiene kits, as well as medical volunteers and a mobile medical unit, were set to head to the east coast on Thursday.

“Readiness is part of all of our disaster response,” said Heart to Heart International Chief Operating Officer Kim Carroll. “We need to be ready to go in as soon as the storm hits and we know where the impact is and where the need can be served.”

In Lee’s Summit, a trailer filled with equipment was getting set to leave from a church parking lot this upcoming Saturday morning.

Volunteers with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team packed wheelbarrows, generators, shovels, and other items to assist anyone hit by the storm.

“No one knows where it’s going to hit or when but we’re prepared for it. We’re trained for it,” said volunteer Leighton Clemons. “We don’t pray for disasters but we pray that we’re prepared and ready when they come.” 

Clemons said his team has been helping out with disaster relief since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

With volunteers now set to travel hundreds of miles this weekend, he told 41 Action News that any assistance could go a long way in helping people impacted by Hurricane Florence.

“We like to do it because we’re here to serve our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” he said. “He wants us to help our neighbor. Not just our neighbor next door but in North Carolina and South Carolina.”

As the path of Hurricane Florence continues to take shape, Clemons said he was ready to answer the call for assistance.

“We’ve got to go in and help these people. They’re already in shock but we’ve got to help them get in some kind of recovery mode,” he explained. “They don’t know us. They don’t know we’re coming. We’re all volunteers.”

Anyone interested in helping with Heart to Heart International disaster relief efforts can text “HHi” to 41444.

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