HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) — Sunday morning, Penny Knutson posted to the Gilligan’s Bar & Grill Facebook page, asking her followers for help helping others.
Along with her husband, Chris, Penny asked Gilligan’s regulars, and the public at large to consider donating to their supply drive for victims of Hurricane Ida.
“We said, ‘You know what, the best way we can impact it is to get the word out there,'” Penny explained. “See if people want to help and contribute some items that would help these people, and we’ll drive it down.”
Monday afternoon, the bar owners already had a pile of nonperishable food items and bottles of water to deliver.
“I struggle not crying when they drop it off, because I know it takes effort,” Penny said.
It will also take effort for the couple to drive the supplies south.
“We don’t have the exact destinations,” Chris told Local 5. “We’re working with some people down south in Mississippi and Louisiana and we’re trying to identify where we can go, where we can have the best impact.”
Up until they hit the road Saturday morning, they’ll be accepting donations.
“Donate some nonperishable foods, water, dog food, cat food, baby food,” Chris listed.
They’re also accepting toiletries like shampoo, soap, and deodorant.
Donations can be dropped off at Gilligan’s, located at 1985 Velp Ave in Howard, TNT Signature Glass Design, LLC at 1316 Bellevue St in Green Bay, and Harbor Lights bar, located at 434 Pennsylvania Ave in Sheboygan.
“They can stop by anytime,” Trevor Fenske, owner of TNT Signature Glass Design said. “I’m going to post my phone number on the door so if they come after hours, I can definitely meet them here.”
The coordinated effort between local businesses has come together quickly, but they have big goals.
“I got a 24-foot trailer,” Fenske said, “so we’re hoping to fill that up.”
Fenske said he’s helping out in the effort because he believes in the mission.
“We’re all one family in this country,” he said. “We need to take care of each other.”
Penny’s sentiments were similar, “No matter what state we’re in or where we are in the United States, people are people, and these people are going to be without homes, without businesses and they’re really going to question how [they can] raise their families.”
They’re hoping to help reduce some of that uncertainty, and for the community to help make it happen.
“It’s going to be a whirlwind of a week,” Penny said. “I’m sure. Next week will be something else too. We’ll definitely document our journey as we move along.”
Organizers are also looking for volunteers with trucks and trailers to help out with the transportation portion of the effort.